A week after Virginia’s elections, Delegate Patrick Hope came to the Alexandria Campus to meet with David Miller’s Political Geography (GEO 230) class on November 11. He talked about the election results and gerrymandering. Hope represents the 47th District (Arlington, Virginia) as a Democratic member of the Virginia House of Delegates.
Hope talked with students about what happened in the Virginia elections on November 3. He noted most of the 2015 races were uncompetitive due to gerrymandering, where district lines are drawn to favor either Democrats or Republicans. Only six of the 100 House of Delegates races were considered close, 62 seats were uncontested. Just three House seats changed party affiliation, ending with Republicans holding 66 seats and Democrats holding 34 seats. Hope’s election was also not close as he won with almost 77 percent of the vote.
Hope noted gerrymandering is unfair to Commonwealth of Virginia voters. The districts are drawn to protect incumbents and to give an advantage to a political party. The session ended with a review of the map results for the House of Delegates. Most of the funny-shaped districts seem to guarantee the incumbents a long political life.