CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The House of Delegates on Monday overwhelmingly approved a bill that would require all House districts to be redrawn as single-member districts following the 2020 census.
House Bill 4002 passed 72-25, with a bipartisan majority of delegates approving the plan.
“This is a great day that we have been working toward for a very long time,” said House Speaker Tim Armstead, R-Kanawha. “In my 20 years in the House, I have been a part of a four-member, three-member and finally single-member district, and I can say with certainty that no matter how dedicated a delegate may be, single-member districts help them be more accessible and accountable to their constituents.”
Single-member districts are used in all but 10 state legislatures, and only West Virginia and New Hampshire continue to have legislative districts consisting of three or more members.
“Today’s passage of this bill gives each of our citizens a stronger voice in their government by making their delegates closer to the people they represent,” Speaker Armstead said.
House Speaker Pro Tempore John Overington, R-Berkeley, has been advocating for single-member districts since he was first elected in 1984, and was lead sponsor of this year’s bill.
“I have waited a long time to see this day, and I am grateful to finally help bring this reform to fruition,” Delegate Overington said. “Single-member districts best exemplify the principle of ‘one person, one vote’ and offer enhanced accountability and more direct representation for our constituents.”
House Bill 4002 now goes to the Senate for further consideration.