The West Virginia House Judiciary Committee sent a bill to the chamber floor Monday designed to reorganize the state into 100, single-member House districts during the decennial redistricting process. During the debate, the committee also voted down an amendment to the bill that would have compelled the Legislature to appoint an independent, nonpartisan committee to handle the redistricting, which is typically executed by legislators themselves. The bill passed on a party-line vote of 16 to 8, with Democrats in the minority. Delegate John Overington, R-Berkeley, sponsored the single-member redistricting plan, House Bill 4002, which would fundamentally change the electioneering mechanics of several House districts, especially those in urban pockets of the state, starting in 2022.
In West Virginia’s 67 House districts, 11 of those districts have two members, six districts have three members, two districts have four members, and one district has five members.
Overington’s bill, which has 10 co-sponsors, including Speaker of the House Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha, and House Majority Leader Daryl Cowles, R-Morgan, states that, after the 2020 U.S. Census and subsequent redistricting process, the body shall be composed of 100 single-member districts.