(AP) Virginia lawmakers have picked legislators to serve on a new redistricting commission created with the aim of eliminating gerrymandering.
Leaders in both parties have announced their picks to serve on the commission. The 16-member panel, which was created after voters approved a constitutional amendment earlier this month, will include eight legislators and eight other citizens, evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans.
The selected lawmakers are Democratic Sens. George Barker and Mamie Locke, GOP Sens. Ryan McDougle and Steve Newman, House Democrats Dels. Delores McQuinn and Marcus Simon, and GOP Dels. Les Adams and Margaret Ransone.
The eight citizens will be chosen later by retired judges from a list prepared by legislators.
The maps developed by the panel will be sent to the General Assembly for an up-or-down vote with no opportunity to amend them. If the maps are rejected, the Supreme Court of Virginia will draw them.
Redistricting reform has become a hot-button issue nationally. Reformers say the practice of gerrymandering has led to anti-competitive legislative districts that choose polarizing candidates incapable of working across party lines in Washington and in state capitals across the country.