The big news out of the General Assembly is that Governor Bob McDonnell signed off on HB 5005 House of Delegates and Senate districts; changes in boundaries. The Redistricting Plans maps are provided here. What’s in the news?
- Gov. McDonnell to Approve New Redistricting Plan from the ManassasParkPatch describes some of the effects locally and includes Supervisor Corey Stewart’s take.
- McDonnell signs new redistricting bill from the washingtonexaminer.com points out the redistricting plan is still not a settled matter.
Virginia still must submit its maps to the U.S. Department of Justice for review because of the state’s history of racial discrimination.
- Va. assembly reaches deal on new legislative map from the Washington Post gets quotes from members of the General Assembly.
- Prince William County cut into five Senate districts from InsideNoVA.com focuses on the fundamental problem.
- Next up is congressional redistricting, but not soon from the Richmond Times-Dispatchconsiders the General Assembly will tackle congressional redistricting and the related issues. In addition, that article mentions law suits.
The primary nominating contests for General Assembly seats have been scheduled Aug. 23.
The Justice Department has 60 days to review the Virginia submission, then overseas ballots must be mailed within 45 days of the primary, so if the bill is sent to the Justice Department this week and it approves the plan, there should be time enough to hold the primaries on Aug. 23.
Assessing the just-adopted plan, McDonnell said “additional improvements in measures of compactness and preservation of communities of interest would have been ideal.”
But, he said, “no plan is perfect” and further delay could have prompted a legal challenge and turned the line-drawing authority over to the courts.
He noted that three suits filed by individual citizens and pending in federal courts request court-drawn lines. The suits, however, would not go forward unless the plan going to the Justice Department is rejected.
“Prompt action was required to preserve this inherently legislative function,” the governor said.
What Virginia’s Blogs Had To Say
In Pr. William sends redistricting map to DOJ for approval The Virginia Politics Blog reminds us that Prince William County is itself subject to redistricting. Make certain you check out www.pwcgov.org/redistricting.
Project Virginia, in Virginia Redistricting: Compare New & Old Districts offers a different view using google maps. Blue Virginia provides a pointer to the same maps in Maps of New Virginia Senate and House Districts.
Black Velvet Bruce Li offers an apt observation, Gerrymandering Is OK If Parties Agree How To Do It.
Bearing Drift provides a cute cartoon in Virginia Senate Passes New Redistricting Map; McDonnell to Sign.
Virgina Virtucon complains about the gerrymandering in a Governor McDonnell will sign new redistricting plan.
The bad news for Loudoun county is that the new 31st Senate district still stretches from Arlington to Loudoun county. Most of Loudoun county will now be in the 13th Senate district. Prince William county will still be split, but split into fewer senate districts than under the previous plan.