Reversing the General Assembly’s gerrymandering of Virginia’s congressional districts could move as many as 100,000 African-Americans to new districts and open the way for the state to elect two black members of Congress, Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, D-Newport News, said Tuesday.
The reason is that an old Voting Rights Act standard – that districts like Scott’s needed to have well above a majority of African-Americans or other minorities in order to give minority voters a real chance to have their votes count – no long applies, Scott told the Daily Press editorial board.
The Supreme Court canned that standard in 2013 after an Alabama County challenged it, he said.
What that means, Scott said, is that the standard from a different part of the Voting Rights Act will apply when Virginia’s district map — which courts have ruled to be unconstitutional — is redrawn.
That standard says a district needs to include enough minority voters to ensure they have a fair chance to see their choices for office. In Hampton Roads, that probably means a district with a population that’s 40 percent black, he said. (The Daily Press)