Special session scheduled for West Virginia redistribution as citizens assess the cards
The Legislature’s review of the redistribution continues, with a special session scheduled for next week to consider new maps.
“I hope we can get over this fairly quickly,” said delegate Brandon Steele, R-Raleigh, a member of the House Redistricting Committee. “We have at least told our members to keep our hours open throughout the week. “
The House Redistricting Committee has yet to meet after meeting last week. The committee had a first look at six proposed congressional maps and a 100 district map for the House of Delegates, but agreed to return on a date to be determined.
Meanwhile, the Senate Boundaries Commission organize a meeting for 3 p.m. Wednesday to discuss the proposed cards. The Senate committee has 23 proposed Congress cards posted so far. There are no maps of the districts proposed to the State Senate available to the public yet.
“Send your comments. Send your assessments of these maps, ”Senator Charles Trump, R-Morgan, chairman of this chamber’s redistribution committee, told the public last week.
Video and audio of the Senate meeting will be broadcast live.
The legislature will have to settle on an awkward division of the state into two congressional districts, rather than three, due to the census determination that West Virginia has lost population.
Some members of the public accepted the invitation to comment.
James Wilgus, a West Virginia resident, wrote that he preferred a tagged card “Asset 4”, which has a sort of diagonal division.
“Charleston, Huntington and the southern coalfields are in one district. And the northern and eastern enclave regions, as well as Morgantown, are in the second district. This contains a defined east / west division of the state. Thank you,” he wrote.
Another commentator, Dave Gaudino, said he preferred the card titled “Asset 6”, which has more than one direct north-south divide, with Braxton County in the center. “I think that makes the most sense,” Gaudino wrote.
Commentator Dave Bogdan prefers “Trump 15” which is an east-west divide, first skirting the counties in the Ohio Valley before widening.
“Trump # 15 looks sprawling at first, but I think it would be beneficial to connect the coal deposits to the Chemical Valley and keep the Ohio River counties from Hancock to Wayne intact,” he added. . he wrote. “In addition, this map gives an almost equal distribution of the population. “
Commentator Stanley Wyatt had a few favorites – Jeffries No.1, who has a north-south zigzag split, plus Trump n ° 1 – which is a card that lawmakers called crablegs because of its shape, and Trump n ° 8, another north-south split.
“I am for the least variation and for the equality of the population”, he wrote. “Thank you.”
Speaking on “Radio Roundtable” on WJLS-AM, Delegate Steele said it would be difficult to settle on a congressional map because West Virginia has several distinct regions that are not easily split in two.
“When you get down to two seats, there are just a few things that we can’t avoid,” he said.
“The hardest thing to imagine is that someone from Mingo County is in the same district as someone from Jefferson County. It’s in seven hours. It’s quite a blow. You take communities that have nothing in common and put them together.
With some of the maps on offer that place the growing eastern enclave with much of southern West Virginia, he said, it’s hard to imagine a resident of the southern counties being elected as a representative. the United States.
“Unless George W. Bush or Donald Trump move to Gilbert and run to Congress, I don’t think we would have one,” he said of the southern counties.
“To have someone in the Eastern Panhandle representing the coalfields, there’s a bit of detachment there. I’m not saying someone wouldn’t try. I’m not saying someone wouldn’t do their best.