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Kaine Seeks Nonpartisan Redistricting

Tim Craig

Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) said tonight he wants Virginia to expand access to absentee ballots and create a new system for drawing legislative boundaries.

In his third State of the Commonwealth address, Kaine said a non-partisan redistricting process would allow districts to be drawn "with people, not the politicians, first in mind."

Kaine's proposal comes as Democrats took control of the Senate today, which will assure their party has a seat at the table during the next round of congressional and legislative redistricting in 2011.

"With different parties in the majority in each house, now is the perfect time to make this necessary change," Kaine said.

Last year, the then Republican controlled Senate approved a proposal by Sen. R. Creigh Deeds (D-Bath) to establish a non partisan commission that would draw legislative boundaries. But the measure died in the House.

Kaine also wants to change election law so anyone can request an absentee ballot for any reason. Under current law, someone has to have a valid excuse, such as travel plans, before they can receive an absentee ballot.

"Jefferson believed that our government belonged to citizens, not to politicians or to special interests," Kaine said. "To guarantee the continued ownership of this government by its people, we must always look for opportunities to safeguard and improve citizen participation."

By Tim Craig  |  January 9, 2008; 7:43 PM ET
Categories:  Election 2009 , General Assembly 2008 , Tim Craig , Timothy M. Kaine  
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