West Virginia House of Delegates Judiciary Committee Chairman John Shott, R-Mercer, established a subcommittee Wednesday to rework a bill that would create an independent commission to draw voter redistricting lines following the decennial census. In previous years, legislators have used updated information from the census to redraw their own district lines. House Bill 2383, sponsored by Delegate John Overington, R-Berkeley, puts together an independent redistricting commission, to bar politicians from picking and choosing their voters. However, the text of the bill does not spell out any specifics regarding who would serve on this commission, how they would be appointed or who — if anyone — would pay for it.
It does state that the commission must ignore all demographic information besides population. That includes race, voter registration, past electoral behavior, party affiliation and other electioneering indicators.
To formulate the bill, Shott appointed Delegates Overington, Kayla Kessinger, R-Fayette, Mark Zatezalo, R-Hancock, and Mike Pushkin, D-Kanawha.
According to committee counsel, the bill — based on a similar idea used in Iowa — likely also would require a constitutional amendment.