Virginia congressional and state legislative redistricting process begins

It’s that time again. Perhaps the most important result of the 2009 Virginia general elections has finally arrived: redistricting.

Following the 2009 campaign, Republicans have control of the governor’s mansion and House of Delegates, while Democrats have a very small advantage in the State Senate.

The results of that election should give the GOP a significant advantage in how congressional and state legislative districts are drawn following the results of the 2010 Census.

Of course, the GOP having an advantage has never stopped them from failing before.

Del. Mark Cole, chairman of the House Privileges and Elections Committee and the Redistricting Subcommittee says that there will be a series of six public comment periods before the next regular General Assembly session in 2011. Cole hopes that the committee can complete its work and codified prior to the November 2011 elections.

The meetings will be held:

Wednesday, September 8th -7pm, Natural Science Center, V A Western Community College (Roanoke)

Wednesday, September 22nd -7pm, Roper Performing Arts Center, Tidewater Community College (Norfolk)

Tuesday, October 5th -7pm, Mason Hall, George Mason University

Monday, October 18th -7pm, Regional Center for Advanced Technology and Training, Danville Community College

Monday, December 6th -7pm, University Hall, University of Mary Washington (Stafford Campus)

Friday, December 17th -10am, 9th Floor Appropriations Room, General Assembly Building (time approximate, after Governor’s remarks to the money committees)

Subcommittee Members:

Mark Cole, Chairman
Robert B. Bell
Rosalyn R. Dance
Algie T. Howell, Jr
S. Chris Jones
Jackson Miller
of the Joint Reapportionment Committee:
David B. Albo
Johnny S. Joannou

In the committee’s first missive, as found on the redistricting website, the committee hints at what might become of the congressional districts.

The ideal district population is estimated to be 717,370, but the 2nd (Nye), 3rd (Scott), 5th (Perriello), 6th (Goodlatte), 8th (Moran), and 9th (Boucher) are under that margin, so we should expect to see them gain some voters (interesting that pop. decline is in districts represented mostly by Democrats!). Every other district is over that margin: 1st (Wittman), 4th (Forbes), 7th (Cantor), 10th (Wolf) and 11th (Connolly) – almost all Republicans. The 1st and the 10th Districts deviate the most from over ideal and the 9th deviates the most below.

For more details on process, which counties are growing (and who’s not) and stats on state legislative districts (in other words, to get your wonk on), check out the doument “Drawing the Line”.

Congrats to Shaun Kenney – BD Contributor and Fluvanna County Supervisor on Fluvanna being one of the state’s fastest growing communities since 2000. One has to wonder how much Shaun personally has had to do with that!