Until Virginians approved Constitutional Amendment 1 in November 2020, the Virginia Constitution required the General Assembly redraw Virginia’s state legislative and congressional electoral districts every ten years in the wake of the national census.1 Redistricting culminated in the adoption of legislation redefining those districts. If the redistricting process had worked as intended after the 2010 census, electoral districts would have been redrawn and adopted by the General Assembly in 2011, approved by the Governor, and used for the ensuing decade. The redistricting process did not work as the Virginia Constitution contemplated. The General Assembly redrew, and the Governor approved, state Senate and House of Delegates districts in 2011. The state Senate districts remained substantially unchanged during the 2010s. Conversely, pursuant to litigation, a court-appointed special master redrew many of the House of Delegates districts the General Assembly had drawn in 2011. The current House of Delegates districts were finally fully implemented in 2019. The General Assembly redrew, and the Governor approved, Virginia’s congressional districts in 2012, one year after the Virginia Constitution mandated. Pursuant to litigation, a court-appointed special master redrew multiple districts in that plan. The current congressional districts were finally fully implemented in 2016.
Henry L. Chambers Jr.,
Readying Virginia for Redistricting After a Decade of Election Law Upheaval,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol55/iss1/10