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Legislators should see the benefits to ‘one man, one vote’

By Staff | Jul 29, 2011

As the redistricting talks continue and the West Virginia Legislature prepares for an August special session, our state lawmakers are being asked to decide how best Jefferson County can be represented.

Delegates John Doyle (D-57th) and Tiffany Lawrence (D-58th) have both drafted plans to rewrite the county’s district lines in accordance with the Eastern Panhandle’s growing population.

Perhaps, the most contentious issue being discussed among lawmakers is that of single-member districts.

Though both Doyle and Lawrence, like others, are in favor of an eventual transition to 100 single-member districts across the state, many members of the House remain unconvinced.

Though traditionally an issue concerning the most “representative” way to conduct elections, single-member district talks have become increasingly political going into August’s special session, with many Democrats coming out against what is being characterized as a GOP scheme.

Putting politics aside, however, may be the best course of action for lawmakers interested in putting the needs of their constituency first, and it’s our viewpoint the single-member district system provides the best avenue for democratic governing statewide, regardless of which political party may take home the most votes each election.

The “one man, one vote” argument remains at the heart of the push for single-member districts, and it’s our hope that representatives all over the state begin to see the value in a system that better serves every citizen, including minority groups and all others traditionally underrepresented.