The Washington Post

Va. Senate congressional map looks little like House plan

Update, April 11, 11:27 a.m.: It looks like the Virginia Division of Legislative Services posted the Senate Democrats’ map a little early and has now taken the proposal, which was viewable Sunday, off of its Web site. It’ll probably reappear after Senate Democrats formally file a bill containing the plan, likely after 4 p.m. Monday.

Original post: A redistricting wonk alert: Though a new congressional map that will be proposed by Democrats who lead the Virginia Senate cannot be filed as a bill until the chamber gathers in Richmond on Monday, it appears their proposal is now available for perusal on the Division of Legislative Services Web site.

As we had indicated Friday, the map creates a new minority “influence district” that includes much of Richmond and counties to the city’s south. The district is designed to include a significant percentage of black voters and results in an eastward shift for Virginia’s only majority-minority district.

That’s one way the Senate maps differs from one filed last week by Del. Bill Janis (R-Goochland) that he has said has received buy-in from the eight Republicans and three Democrats who make up the state’s incumbent congressional delegation.

But it’s not the only way. The Senate map also appears to include different boundaries for the 9th, the 6th, the 5th, the 1st and 2nd congressional districts. So basically, that’s the whole state with the exception of Northern Virginia, where the Senate map looks similar to the Janis plan.

Differences between the two plans will form the basis for discussions between the Senate and the GOP-held House as the General Assembly returns to Richmond Monday. The General Assembly must redraw congressional lines every 10 years, in response to population shifts revealed by the census.

Rosalind Helderman is a political enterprise and investigations reporter for the Washington Post.


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