ELECTIONS AND VOTING

Virginia Redistricting Commission consultants told to compromise on Congressional maps

BY: - October 14, 2021

Virginia’s bipartisan Redistricting Commission put work on House of Delegates and state Senate districts behind it Thursday and moved on to redrawing congressional district boundaries. In taking up the state’s 11 U.S. House boundaries, the bipartisan commission punted on its duty to remap state legislative districts to the Virginia Supreme Court. Without comment on partisan […]

Va. Redistricting Commission implodes as Republicans reject compromise and Democrats walk out

BY: - October 8, 2021

The Virginia Redistricting Commission’s first-ever attempt to draw fair political maps collapsed in spectacular fashion Friday, when frustrated Democrats walked out of a meeting after Republicans rebuffed their suggestions for reaching a compromise. The commission, which has been holding regular meetings for more than a month, never came close to reaching an agreement on final […]

‘Things don’t look that bad’: Princeton experts offer roadmap for a Va. redistricting compromise

BY: - October 5, 2021

The Virginia Redistricting Commission’s recent meetings have taken on a gloomy tone, with many predicting it’s all but certain to fail and leave it to the Supreme Court of Virginia to redraw the state’s political maps. But experts at the Princeton Gerrymandering Project, which is grading redistricting proposals from numerous states based on criteria like […]

‘We’re sort of stuck:’ Va. Redistricting Commission divided over race as deadline looms

BY: - October 5, 2021

Last month, Greta Harris took a break from trying to corral the eight Republicans and eight Democrats on the Virginia Redistricting Commission to make an impassioned plea. It wasn’t too long ago, she said, that Black Virginians like her were systematically denied the right to vote. Some of the new political maps up for consideration […]

Republican official attacked by Trump decries ‘huge disinformation campaign’

BY: - September 27, 2021

WASHINGTON — Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a Republican who took the brunt of former President Donald Trump’s attacks over Georgia’s 2020 election results, said during a Friday virtual panel that he hopes election disinformation starts to dissipate. “People weren’t questioning the (election) process before, but there was a huge disinformation campaign which really destabilized […]

Va. Redistricting Commission approves neutrality rule, deadlocks on use of race

BY: - September 15, 2021

The Virginia Redistricting Commission voted Wednesday to formally instruct its map-drawers not to look at political data or information showing where incumbents live as they draw new General Assembly and congressional districts. The bipartisan panel’s unanimous vote represents a formal commitment to the fairer process voters envisioned when they approved the commission last year. It’s […]

Revised voting rights bill rolled out in U.S. Senate, with Manchin on board

BY: - September 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — Senate Democrats on Tuesday unveiled a revamped voting rights bill that would expand voter registration as well as create nonpartisan redistricting committees, but the measure is still likely to face an uphill battle in an evenly divided Senate. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he will bring the legislation to the floor of […]

Co-chairs Greta Harris (left) and Mackenzie Babichenko (right) preside over an Aug. 3 meeting of the Virginia Redistricting Commission. (Photo by Ned Oliver)

Redistricting Commission drops region-by-region approach, expects statewide maps Sept. 20

BY: - September 13, 2021

After giving the public a glimpse of draft maps for Northern Virginia, the new Virginia Redistricting Commission is dropping its region-by-region approach in favor of statewide proposals expected to be unveiled next week. The commission’s co-chairs announced the procedural change over the weekend and said at a meeting Monday that the chief concern is a […]

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring. (Ned Oliver/Virginia Mercury)

Campaign funds can be used for child care, Virginia AG says

BY: - September 10, 2021

Attorney General Mark Herring says political candidates in Virginia can use campaign funds to pay campaign-related child care expenses, an opinion that puts the state in alignment with federal election rules but has little immediate impact due to the state’s anything-goes campaign finance system. “Virginia’s campaign finance statutes allow for the use of campaign funds […]

COMMENTARY

Hey incumbents, the General Assembly will survive without you

BY: - September 10, 2021

George Barker may have thought he was in the clear. The state senator from Northern Virginia was the chief sponsor of his chamber’s bill to hold a voter referendum last year to start a redistricting commission. Citizens approved the plan by a large margin. Surely the Fairfax County Democrat, in the Senate since 2008, would find smooth […]

Incumbent protection remains flashpoint as Virginia senator tries to draw his own district lines

BY: - September 9, 2021

Stopping legislators from drawing their own districts was the main rallying cry behind the new Virginia Redistricting Commission voters approved last year. But one legislator is trying to do just that in full public view from his perch on the commission. A week after noting a consultant-drawn draft map would push him out of his […]

Virginia’s Redistricting Commission has its first draft maps. They look… normal?

BY: - September 2, 2021

The Virginia Redistricting Commission got its first look at draft General Assembly maps Thursday as consultants delivered proposals for part of Northern Virginia with districts that look far more normally shaped than the ones that exist now. A pair of consultants drew their proposed House of Delegates and Senate districts from scratch, following the guidance […]