Let the Voters Decide! Virginians Deserve a 2022 Special Election
Now that we have fair representative maps, we can have fair elections. To delay fair elections would be to delay justice and justice delayed is justice denied.
Increasingly in Virginia and in our country, the stakes are becoming clear: true multi-racial democracy is the only thing that can prevent the unholy alliance between white supremacy and moneyed interests from taking power.
Today in Virginia we only have 22 African-American state legislators. That falls short of the high mark of 29 won through Black Freedom struggle during Virginia’s Reconstruction Era. It reveals the stakes involved in pushing for fair maps and fair elections where all of our votes count equally.
This lack of equal representation violates the U.S Constitution’s 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause that ensures every vote counts equally.
In June 2021 former state Democratic Party Chairman Paul Goldman sued the Board of Elections alleging that the elections in 2021 for House of Delegate seats would represent out-of-date districts. The case is currently on appeal before the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Then-Attorney General Mark Herrin requested that the case be removed from federal courts. The appeals court is scheduled to hear arguments in the case of March 8th.
The NAACP, Loudon 4 All, the League of Women Voters, and others have all stated their support for holding a 2022 special election, doing so in concert with progressive coalitions across the state. Robert Barnette, president of the Virginia State Conference of the NAACP, recently issued a statement urging a special election using accurate district maps “in order to protect the constitutional rights of all Virginians to equal representation.”
We join in raising our voice in support of a special election for Virginia in 2022. We support an election that represents our current population levels. We believe all Richmonders and all Virginians deserve to have equal representation and to have all votes weighted equally.