The Senate Republican maneuvering on Monday to pass a sweeping redistricting bill that could result in Republicans gaining a super-majority of seats in the upper chamber in 2015 has drawn strong condemnation from Democrats and disapproving words from Gov. McDonnell and Lt. Gov. Bolling.

So why did they do it?

In the 2012 General Assembly session, House Bill 259, patroned by Del. Mark Cole, would have made a number of technical adjustments to the boundaries of House districts in order to “eliminate split voting precincts and otherwise facilitate administration of legislative elections by local officials.” The bill passed the House unanimously in February, 2012.

The bill was then sent to the Senate, where it languished in the Privileges and Elections committee, chaired by Attorney General candidate Mark Obenshain, for the rest of the session. The bill was eventually carried over to the 2013 session.

But right after Thanksgiving, the committee took up the measure again and, with all eight Republicans voting “yes,” the bill got a new lease on life, and was reported out of committee and on to the senate’s upcoming calendar.

Continued at Dead Reckoning, Bearing Drift’s newsletter. Dead Reckoning is published on Mondays and Thursdays each week. Subscriptions are $3 per month. To subscribe, click here, or on the Dead Reckoning banner on the website’s sidebar