Congressional and Legislative
Congressional and legislative maps are enacted by the 16-member Virginia Redistricting Commission.
No later than December 1st of the year ending in zero, the Virginia House and Senate majority and minority leaders each nominate two Commissioners from their party’s chamber delegation. The remaining eight commissioners are citizens selected by the Redistricting Commission Selection Committee. No later than November 15 of the year ending in zero, the Chief Justice of the Virginia Supreme Court submits a list of retired Virginia circuit court judges willing to serve on the Committee to the majority and minority leaders in the Virginia General Assembly, who each select one judge from the list to serve. Those four members then select, by a majority vote, a fifth member from the list of judges to serve as Chair of the Selection Committee. No later than January 1st of the year ending in one, the House and Senate majority and minority leaders each submit a list of sixteen eligible citizen candidates to the Selection Committee, which selects two from each list to serve as the remaining eight Commissioners. No later than February 1st of the year ending in one, a chair is selected from the citizen members in a public meeting.
All Commission meetings, records, documents and communications relating to the Commission’s work are made available to the public. Prior to proposing and voting on any plans, the Commission must hold at least three public hearings in different parts of the state. Legislative district maps must be submitted to the General Assembly no later than 45 days after receiving the state’s census data. Senate plans must be approved by at least six citizen-Commissioners and six legislator-Commissioners, including at least three of the Senator-Commissioners. House plans must be approved by at least six citizen-Commissioners and six legislator-Commissioners, including at least three of the Delegate-Commissioners. Congressional district maps must be submitted to the General Assembly no later than 60 days after receiving census data or July 1st of that year, whichever is later. Plans must be approved by at least six of the legislator-Commissioners and at least six of the citizen-Commissioners.
The General Assembly must adopt or reject submitted plans within 45 days. If the General Assembly fails to adopt one or more of the maps by then, the Commission has 14 days to submit a new plan, which the General Assembly must approve or reject within 7 days. If this plan fails, or if the Commission otherwise fails to submit a new map by the deadline, the maps are drawn by the Supreme Court of Virginia.
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 - Passed
- 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
- General Assembly Approves Budget Amendments in Part, Including Redistricting Language, The Center Square (11/9/20)
- Virginia General Assembly Passes Rules for Newly Approved Redistricting Commission, Virginia Mercury (11/9/20)
- Northam Proposed Budget Amendments, Including Language to Enable Redistricting Commission, The Center Square (11/6/20)
- Virginia Voters Approve Redistricting Referendum, Richmond Times-Dispatch (11/4/20)
- New Poll: Virginia Voters Strongly Favor Redistricting Amendment, The Virginian-Pilot (10/28/20)
- Fatally Flawed or a 'Step in the right Direction'? Democrats Deeply Divided on Redistricting Reform, Virginia Mercury (10/26/20)
- Legislative Panel Votes to Include Incumbents' Addresses in 2021 Redistricting Data, Virginia Mercury (10/19/20)
- Lawmakers Intend to Remove Redistricting Language from Virginia Budget, Will Address Later, The Center Square (10/14/20)
- 'A Lot at Stake for Communities of Color': Race Takes Central Role in Redistricting Fight, Virginia Mercury (10/15/20)
- Democrats are Urging Virginia Voters to Reject Redistricting Reform they once Backed, DCist (10/9/20)
- Disputed Redistricting Reform on the Ballot in Virginia, AP (10/9/20)
- Virginia Democrats' Redistricting Fight Spills Into Special Session Budget Talks, Virginia Mercury (10/9/20)
- Democrats Divided on Bipartisan Redistricting Amendment, Chesterfield Observer (9/23/20)
- 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)