On December 28, the Supreme Court of Virginia (SCoVA) released the final maps for the 2020 – 2021 round of redistricting, as prepared by two Court-appointed special masters. The “Final Order and Approved Maps” are available on the SCoVA web site. The maps were accompanied by a 63 page memo written by the two special masters which explains the reasoning behind their final maps and the choices they had made in revising them after two days of public hearings and a review of public comments.
For your convenience, here are individual links to the approved maps –
- SCV Final House of Delegates Map (interactive)
- SCV Final House of Delegates Map (pdf)
- SCV Final Senate Districts Map (interactive)
- SCV Final Senate Districts Map (pdf)
- SCV Final Congressional District Map (interactive)
- SCV Final Congressional District Map (pdf)
|Would you like to know if your Delegate, State Senator, or member of Congress might change according to the newly drawn maps? Simply enter your address into the VPAP website and find out … https://vpap.org/redistricting/|
Because the Virginia Redistricting Commission was unable to reach agreement on maps for legislative or congressional districts, the process for redrawing district boundary lines for a set of new districts was delegated to the Virginia Supreme Court, per the requirements of the voter-approved constitutional amendment. The Supreme Court chose two special masters and tasked them to work together to draw single redistricting maps for the state’s congressional districts and both legislative chambers. Those maps were presented to and approved by the Court on December 28, 2021.
Two helpful resources include a description of the Virginia Supreme Court’s role in redistricting in the Virginia Code and the “Rules and Procedures for Implementing the Requirements of Article II, Section 6-A of the Constitution of Virginia.”
Local Government Redistricting
Background: County Boards of Supervisors and City Councils are responsible for redrawing local election districts every ten years to account for population and demographic shifts. Local election districts must comply with certain constitutional criteria, i.e., must be drawn using the most recent decennial census data; must be substantially equal in population; cannot be drawn to discriminate based on race; and must be contiguous and compact.
Article VII, Section 5 of the Virginia Constitution and Virginia Code § 24.2-304.1 requires localities, which elect governing bodies by district, to redistrict every ten years to account for population and demographic shifts. A detailed explanation of all legal requirements is available in Guide to Local Redistricting for 2021 by the Virginia Division of Legislative Services.
The City of Fredericksburg and the counties of Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania and Stafford are all required to redistrict. There were delays while these local governments waited for state legislative and congressional lines to be drawn by the Supreme Court of Virginia but all these jurisdictions have now completed the process. Voters in Virginia can expect to receive cards from their Registrar’s office with information on changes in their districts and polling locations.
The League of Women Voters of the Fredericksburg Area adopted an action plan regarding local redistricting on June 28, 2021:
Support of the following considerations in redistricting of local governments in Planning District 16: natural geographic boundaries, jurisdictional boundaries, communities of interest and competitiveness. In addition, support the education and participation of voters in the local redistricting process.
Status of Local Redistricting
The Caroline County Board of Supervisors held a public hearing on February 8, 2022, for public input on redrawing districting voting maps. There were no members of the public that spoke, and the Board voted to adopt the new redistricting map.
Further details are in a February 12 news article in The Free Lance-Star, “Caroline approves plan moving some Madison voters to other districts.”
The 2011 election district map for Caroline County is also available on the county website.
On February 8, 2022, the Fredericksburg City Council voted 7-0 to approve the “Modified Citizen’s Plan Version 2” for redistricting city wards. A memorandum which includes the February 8 map is available on the Fredericksburg City website.
A Free Lance-Star news article from February 9, 2022, “Fredericksburg City Council approves resident’s plan for new ward lines” provides additional information.
The comprehensive website on redistricting for Fredericksburg includes a current timeline and details on meetings that have been completed and can be accessed here.
A historic map of Fredericksburg city wards for 2011 is also available on the county website.
King George County
No members of the public spoke at the hearing on local redistricting held by the King George County Board of Supervisors on February 15, 2022. The Supervisors subsequently voted to approve changes to the King George County district maps, including some polling sites. These are shown as “Option 1” in the County GIS app.
The Free Lance-Star provided coverage of the hearing in a February 17 article, “State redistricting has widespread impact in King George.”
The King George County Registrar’s office will be sending out new voter registration cards with information on changes in voting districts. Anyone with questions is invited to call 540-775-9186.
Information on local redistricting for Spotsylvania County is now available on the county website.
The page includes background information and a link to the redistricting map which was selected by the Board of Supervisors at a public hearing on March 22, 2022. Once the county advertises the changes, the public will have 30 days to make comments on the redistricting plan.
Further details may be found in a March 23 news article in The Free Lance-Star, “Spotsylvania supervisors select redistricting plan.”
“At the March 15, 2022, Board of Supervisors meeting, the Board adopted Proposed Ordinance 022-08, an ordinance describing new election district boundaries, voting precincts and polling locations in Stafford County. After a public hearing upon this ordinance, the vote was taken as one of the final steps in a months-long process required by Virginia state law and dependent on the outcome of the 2020 U.S. Census results and publication. The changes affect all the election districts in Stafford except for the Garrisonville District, which will remain the same. Ten new polling locations were also established to accommodate the change in Stafford’s population, and each election district got at least one new precinct.” The full county News Post is available at “Stafford Adopts New Election Districts.”
Additional information on Stafford County election districts is available through their “Redistricting Process” web page.
When local redistricting is complete, every registered voter will receive a new voter’s registration card with their polling location included. The Board of Supervisors and Community Engagement will be working with the Voter Registrar’s office to enhance voter education and understanding of changes for this upcoming election cycle.
LWVFRA was one of five “stakeholders” in Stafford County local redistricting. As a stakeholder, we reviewed and commented on Stafford’s redistricting proposals. The other stakeholders included the Fredericksburg Area Regional Chamber of Commerce, Stafford Election Board, Stafford Republican Committee, and Stafford Democratic Committee.
News coverage of the vote by County Supervisors on the redistricting plan may be found in The Free Lance-Star “Stafford supervisors approve redistricting plan” and Potomac Local News “Election districts shift, new polling places created in Stafford“.