Senate Democrats Release Proposed Redistricting Plan


    (UPDATE: Lots more maps in the comments section of this diary… – promoted by lowkell)

    I just received the following press release from the State Senate Democratic Caucus. I haven’t looked at this yet, will do so shortly. What do you all think?

    Senate Democrats Release Proposed Redistricting Plan

    RICHMOND – Today the Democratic-controlled Virginia Senate unveiled its plan to redraw Virginia’s Senate legislative district lines.

    The redistricting plan, submitted Tuesday afternoon to the General Assembly’s Division of Legislative Services, is expected to be considered during the week of April 4.   The plan can be found here http://redistricting.dls.virgi…

    Because of elections this year (unlike most states, which will hold elections in 2012), the redistricting timetable is short.  It has been only one month since Virginia received corrected census numbers.  The timetable is even further constrained in Virginia, which must submit its plans to the U.S. Department of Justice for preclearance under the Voting Rights Act.

    In addition to time constraints, lawmakers have to take into consideration a number of legal guidelines and other factors.  These include, but are not limited to, “one person, one vote” requirements under the U.S. and Virginia Constitutions; the Voting Rights Act; and the contiguity and compactness requirements under the Virginia Constitution.

    Dramatic shifts in Virginia’s population required changes in district lines. Some districts, including Senate Districts 29 and 33, were grossly overpopulated.  Others were significantly under populated.

    Senate Democrats said that although time constraints have made the redistricting process very challenging, they believe their plan fully complies with all applicable federal and state legal requirements.  In addition, they noted that a number of the districts under the proposed map will be politically competitive for Republicans and Democrats.  For example, under the Senate plan released today, 28 of the 40 Senate districts were carried by Governor Bob McDonnell, and 23 of the 40 districts were carried by Governor Tim Kaine.

    “We’re proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish in such a short time,” said Majority Leader Dick Saslaw, D-Fairfax.

    “For years, the Senate has repeatedly passed legislation designed to bring about redistricting in a fair and non-partisan manner,” said Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Mary Margaret Whipple.

    Senator Whipple added “That is why we’ve passed legislation, for the last four years, to establish a bipartisan redistricting commission to oversee the redistricting process.”

    House Republicans killed the Senate’s bipartisan redistricting commission legislation each year.  For the last two years, Senate leaders have urged Gov. McDonnell to encourage the House to support the legislation, but the Governor has not answered that call.

    Senate Privileges and Elections Committee Chair Janet Howell, D-Reston said, “we have sought public input.  Hearings were held last year around the commonwealth and more are scheduled over the next week.  We value the public’s participation in those hearings.”  

    Eight public hearings on redistricting are scheduled across the commonwealth before the General Assembly convenes on April 4.  Senate and House committees will hold these hearings at the following locations:

    Thursday, March 31

    7 p.m.

    Hampton University,

    Student Center Ballroom,

    135 Marshall Avenue, Hampton, VA 23668

    7:30 p.m.

    Loudoun County Government Center,

    Loudon County Board Room,

    1 Harrison Street, S.E., Fifth Floor

    Leesburg, VA 20177

    7:30 p.m.

    Roanoke Higher Education Center,

    108 North Jefferson Street

    Roanoke, VA 24016

    Saturday, April 2

    10 a.m.

    Augusta County Government Center

    Board of Supervisors Meeting Room

    18 Government Center Lane

    Verona, VA 24482

    10:30 a.m.

    Fairfax County Government Center

    Board of Supervisors Auditorium

    12000 Government Center

    Fairfax, VA 22035

    2 p.m.

    Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center,

    Classrooms 103-104,

    One Partnership Circle, Abingdon, VA 24210

    7 p.m.

    Regional Center for Advanced Technology and Training

    121 Slayton Avenue

    Danville, VA 24540

    Monday, April 4

    10 a.m.

    General Assembly Building

    House Room D

    • NotJohnSMosby

      So I guess you guys in Arlington are going to be very, very unhappy.

    • Eileen Levandoski

      the Beach.  Having troubles seeing maps.  Is Frank Wagner moving to Newport News?

    • gene magruder

      lowell you are forgetting half of hampton roads mainly the peninsula

    • gg2landy

      Could you show what that District is proposed to look like? I would love to see Newman go!

    • House Democrats React to Republican Redistricting Plan

      Richmond, VA -House Democratic Caucus leaders expressed some reservations about the redistricting plan released by House Republicans today.  

      “We are still carefully evaluating the plan presented by our Republican colleagues. Our members have said in a number of public forums that the proposed plan should keep communities of interest together, be fair and transparent, and fully comply with all state and federal voting rights laws. We’ll be evaluating this plan to see if our members and the public have been listened to during this process,” said Caucus Chairman Ken Plum.

      “Any plan passed by the General Assembly must meet the strict standards of the Voting Rights Act. Any attempt to dilute the ability of minorities to have effective representation in the House will be closely scrutinized by our members and the US Department of Justice,” Plum added.

      Any plan passed in Virginia must be pre-cleared by the Justice Department under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act.

      House Minority Leader Ward Armstrong, who has long advocated for keeping Martinsville and Henry County in one district, offered sharp criticisms of the proposed plan. “In this process, one thing has stood out — voters from across our Commonwealth have consistently said they oppose splitting up towns, neighborhoods and precincts and this plan does all three.  Voters don’t want to see their communities split up in a way that creates confusion about which side of their street votes for which Delegate.  I expect that during the public forums this week House Republicans will hear that frustration.”

      Plum added, “Our Caucus will continue to evaluate the plan offered by House Republicans and we’ll come to Richmond next week prepared to debate and discuss this bill.”

    • gene magruder

      locke picks up poquoson ? gets the shipyard area and loses york and poquoson i give up lol

    • drobertson

      Here’s Richmond. Will try to have more screenshots up later.

    • pontoon

      do a screen shot of Central Virginia….Charlottesville, Albemarle, Nelson Counties…would like to know where they’ve put us.  Thanks so much.

    • drobertson

      Represented by R Edward Houck (D-Spotsylvania). He gets Fredericksburg, Culpepper, and part of Ablemarle county. His old district was 45% Obama-54% McCain, new district should be either 50% Obama-49% McCain or 49% Obama-49% McCain, if I’m drawing it correctly.

    • drobertson

      Phil Puckett (D-Lebanon) gets marginally safer, going from a 39% Obama district to a 41% Obama district. I had wondered if they were going to be aggressive and throw Blacksburg into his district, but I guess they decided not to.  

    • ceehoo757

      The Virginia Public Access Project ( a complete breakdown of the new partisan index of the house and senate districts. And has a full description of each of the precincts within the districts.

      In other business, Tommy Norment now represents a district that snakes from the Lancaster County on the Northern Neck ALL the way down to Suffolk???? The Dems did better than the repugs back in 2000 with this one!!

    • Again, thanks to tech whiz Dave Leichtman for these maps!

    • drobertson

      To see how much influence each part of the district had, I checked what percentage of the total population each of the counties in the district. Turns out Arlington county makes up 58% of the district’s population, Fairfax county makes up 30%, and Loudoun makes up 13%. So the district is still primarily an Arlington county district.

    • drobertson

      He puts a bunch of Democrats in very Republican districts (including four in districts that McDonnell won by >70%), and a bunch of Republicans in very Democratic districts (including four in districts that Deeds won by >60%). Anti-incumbent-protection?

    • here.

      Again, thanks to Dave Leichtman!

    • ValerieInRke

      Smith said he’d move into Sen. John Edwards district and challenge him if this happened – and it happened.

    • here. Thanks to Dave Leichtman for all these excellent Google maps!

    • pontoon

      in half.  They have taken two and a half of our precincts and put them in District 20 taking them out of the 59th.  Moving lots of Dem votes into the 20th district, essentially splitting the Dem vote in Nelson County between the 20th and the 59th.

    • sallybee

      …between the 19th and 20th senatorial districts and my precinct has been split as well.  I can’t figure out which district I would fall in.  I’m hoping into Roscoe Reynolds and out of Bill Stanley’s.

    • The Richmonder

      I am quite happy with the Dems Senate plan for  the Richmond metro area.  I can’t speak to the larger implications of the map and will defer to the people who live in each area.

      Any glaring problems out there?

    • is here, courtesy of Dave.

    • is here, courtesy of Dave L.