Eduardo Acevedo, News Editor
A majority of Virginians voted in favor of two constitutional amendments that would change the commonwealth’s redistricting process and veterans’ tax exemption status, according to unfinalized results from the state department of elections.
Amendment 1 would change the process for redistricting, which occurs every 10 years based on the census. The Virginia General Assembly currently draws the state and congressional lines, largely approved by the political party in power. This year, Democrats hold the state house, senate and governorship.
As of early Wednesday morning, more than 67% of ballots checked “yes” for the Republican-backed Amendment 1, according to the Virginia Department of Elections. Results do not include all absentee ballots. Localities will certify results Nov. 10.
The amendment would give redistricting power to a bipartisan commission of eight legislators and eight citizens, evenly drawn from both parties. Voting “no” would keep redistricting powers solely within the General Assembly.
Supporters of Amendment 1 believe that it will combat gerrymandering and make the redistricting process more fair. Opponents believe the amendment is unnecessary and would increase gerrymandering by putting redistricting powers into the hands of fewer people.
Amendment 2 would make one automobile or pick-up truck owned by or used primarily for a veteran with a service-connected, permanent and total disability exempt from local and state taxes. If passed, the amendment would only allow the veteran to exempt one vehicle from their taxes.
As of early Wednesday, 86.16% of counted votes were in favor of the measure. Virginia’s state constitution generally calls for all property to be taxed, but this amendment would exclusively benefit disabled veterans.
Results for this race are as of 12:31 p.m. on Wednesday.