Congressional and Legislative
Congressional and legislative maps are enacted by the State General Assembly. The Governor can veto the plans.
The General Assembly can override a veto with a two-thirds vote. No party currently has a veto-proof majority in either chamber.
An Independent Bipartisan Advisory Commission on Redistricting exists. Virginia’s General Assembly can adopt the Commission’s plans or adopt its own. The Governor selects every member of the 11-member advisory commission. Five members of each major party must be selected. These Commissioners must not have held elected office in previous five years and cannot be employees of the U.S. Congress or the Virginia General Assembly. The eleventh member, the chair, must not identify with any major political party.
The Commission has the choice to draw its own maps or adopt a publicly proposed plan. The Commission must solicit citizen input and provide citizens access to its processes by holding public meetings and creating a website that allows public comment and interaction. The plan drawn or adopted by the Commission is proposed to the Virginia General Assembly. The Commission is instructed to work free from influence from the executive and legislative branches in Virginia. Any Commission decisions are sent to the President pro tempore of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Delegates, the Chairmen of the House and Senate Privileges and Elections Committees, and the Governor. Any decisions or reports are sent before the first day of the next session of the Virginia General Assembly. Virginia’s General Assembly can adopt the commission’s plan or create its own.
Source: Va. Const. art. II, § 6. Va. Exec. Order No. 31 (2011).
Ballot Measure Process
Kinds of Ballot Measures
Only the Virginia legislature may refer amendments to the ballot. There is no initiative or referendum process.
Source: Va. Const. art. XII, § 1.
Active Ballot Measures
- Virginia Senate Joint Resolution 18 (2020)
- Status - On the ballot
- Summary - This constitutional amendment proposed by the state General Assembly would give responsibility for legislative and congressional redistricting to a 16-member redistricting commission. The General Assembly would not give up all of its responsibility. The maps passed by the commission would be voted on by the General Assembly. If the General Assembly twice votes against commission maps, responsibility for legislative and congressional redistricting falls to the Virginia Supreme Court. On August 27, 2020, a lawsuit was filed in the Supreme Court of Virginia challenging the language of the measure.
In The News
- Hanger Considers Gubernatorial Run, Expresses Support for Redistricting Referendum, NBC 29 (9/21/20)
- State Senator Emmett Hanger Announces New PAC 'Virginians for a Better Tomorrow' to Support Bipartisan Redistricting, PR Newswire (9/21/20)
- Virginians to Decide Fate of Controversial Redistricting Amendment, Courthouse News (9/20/20)
- Challenge to Wording on November Ballot Dismissed, Richmond Free Press (9/10/20)
- State Says Lawsuit to Edit Ballot Question on Redistricting Referendum Could Delay Absentee Ballots, Richmond Times-Dispatch (9/1/20)
- Lawsuit Challenges Ballot Language on Redistricting Amendment, Richmond Times-Dispatch (8/28/20)
- New Virginia PAC Opposes Citizen-Led Redistricting Committee, The Tennessee Star (8/27/20)
- Redistricting Reform Petition Returns, Revitalized, O'Colly (8/20/20)
- Redistricting Fight Heats Up with Statewide Referendum Looming, Richmond Times-Dispatch (7/24/20)
- Fair Maps Virginia Campaign Aims to Get Voters to Embrace Redistricting Commission Amendment, Virginia Mercury (7/21/20)
- Senate Panel OKs Language Explaining Disputed Redistricting Amendment to Voters, Virginia Mercury (7/8/20)
- Virginia Democratic Party Urges Voters to Defeat Redistricting Reform Amendment, Virginia Mercury (6/24/20)
- Census Data Delay Will Put Virginia On Tight Redistricting Timeline, The Center Square (5/28/20)
- Virginia Ends Prison Gerrymandering, the Latest Chapter in a Recent Tidal Wave, The Appeal (4/23/20)
- Virginia Reshaped as Democrats Put Historic Stamp on Laws, AP (3/8/20)
- Virginia lawmakers approve redistricting measure, AP (3/6/20)
- Lawmakers try to alter voter-approved redistricting reforms, AP (3/5/20)
- More states to use redistricting reforms after 2020 census, AP (3/5/20)
- After delay, Virginia Democrats advance redistricting, AP (3/2/20)
- Va. House Democrats won’t bring their redistricting reform amendment to the floor, Virginia Mercury (2/19/20)
- Virginia Democrats weigh differing redistricting reforms, AP (1/14/20)
- Poll: 72% of Virginia voters support redistricting amendment, 13News Now (1/2/20)
- Virginia Democrats now have the power and responsibility to fix gerrymandering, Washington Post (1/2/20)
- We can’t assume Virginia Democrats will keep their promise on redistricting reform, Washington Post (12/31/19)