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Controversy Abounds for Virginia's Redistricting Commission

Commission members met virtually Monday morning following a heated meeting Friday
Redistricting Commission Livestream
Commission members met virtually Monday morning following a heated meeting Friday

Virginia’s Redistricting Commission remains embroiled in controversy. Members spent much of Monday’s meeting discussing last week’s fireworks.

Two competing maps and key political differences about how they will handle Virginia’s increasingly diverse population prompted three members to walk out of Friday’s meeting.

Those members – including co-chair Greta Harris – were back Monday.

A good chunk of the meeting revolved around whether or not Harris and others had actually resigned. Here she is clarifying what went down:

“My statement was, ‘I remove myself from the commission at this point,’" Harris explained. "That was referencing that particular meeting; not to resign from the commission. Those words did not cross my lips.”

The situation is just another issue commissioners are dealing with as they struggle to meet deadlines.

The group was supposed to submit maps for the House of Delegates and state Senate Monday. But, the group met virtually and therefore couldn’t take any official votes – effectively missing that cutoff date. It’s unclear what will happen with those maps, but if the commission fails to weigh in, the state Supreme Court will take over.

Commissioners said they’ll turn their focus to U.S. Congressional maps – with that debate set to start Thursday.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Nick Gilmore is a meteorologist, news producer and reporter/anchor for RADIO IQ.