Local senator wants to end gerrymandering

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AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV)— A local state senator said now is the time to fix the issue of gerrymandering in Virginia.

Senator Emmett Hanger, (R) VA-24, said he lost his seat in the House of Delegates in the 1980s because of gerrymandering.

Hanger said he wants to change the process to make it less political.

During the most recent General Assembly session, Hanger proposed a constitutional amendment to change the way the state handles redistricting.

The amendment would create an independent commission to draw district boundaries for the General Assembly after every census.

"In order to get where we need to be in Virginia, I believe it will involve a change in our constitution to allow that independent authority to be able to make the recommendations to us," Hanger said.

Hanger believes creating an independent commission would make the process less political and make redistricting more about the people who live in the districts, instead of helping politicians win them.

"Redistricting should not be done in any way to protect incumbents and it should be done without regard to where the incumbents live," said Hanger.

Hanger said now is the best time to consider making a change to the process since the General Assembly is split relatively evenly between democrats and republicans.