A House of Delegates subcommittee has once again quashed a plan aimed at changing the way Virginia's political districts are drawn. But supporters of bipartisan redistricting say they'll bring this fight again next year.
The proposal would have created a commission of citizens, appointed by the legislature, to re-draw the political districts without political considerations.
Senators voted unanimously last month in favor of the bill. But Tuesday morning, a House subcommittee voted four-to-two, along party lines, to kill the measure.
Supporters of the bill say it would have required districts be formed based on population and on federal guidelines and not criteria that could protect incumbents.
"We're creating a system where legislators and politicians are actually choosing their voters rather than voters choosing their leaders," said Del. Shannon Valentine (D-23rd District) of the way redistricting currently happens.
Republican opponents say the redistricting process is political, no matter who's in charge of it.
"As long as you have human beings doing the job, there will be partisanship involved," said Del. Morgan Griffith (R), the House majority leader.
This is the seventh year state Sen. Creigh Deeds (D-25th District) has sponsored some kind of redistricting bill.
None has made it past the house.
Deeds is one of three men seeking the Democratic nomination for governor. If elected, he promises to use vetoes and executive orders to make bipartisan redistricting a reality in Virginia.
"There are many ways you can do this but I will assure that the interests of the people of Virginia come first, not the interest of politicians," Deeds said.
State Sen. Jill Vogel (R-27th District) was one of the Senate Republicans who supported the plan. She said she's disappointed that her colleagues in the House wouldn't vote for the legislation.
"At the end of the day I think we serve our constituencies a lot better by embracing a bipartisan, non-partisan redistricting process," she said, adding that she'll push for bipartisan redistricting again next year.