McDonnell signs Virginia state redistricting plans
By Tyler Millhouse
The Governor's approval comes after contentious negotiations following his veto of the plan two weeks ago. At that time, McDonnell cited strong reservations about the political bent of the senate plan drafted by Democrats. McDonnell's censure was less intense for House Republicans, citing too many divided precincts.
Following the veto, the House quickly passed a revised version of their chamber's maps, reuniting a handful of divided precincts. In the State Senate, Democrats initially expressed strong opposition to changes, defending the fairness of the plan. However, Democrats and Republicans ultimately reached a compromise and passed a modified plan 32-5. While several modifications to plans were made, it appears that the key compromise centered on Virginia Beach. The original plan had consolidated two Republican seats in the region into one distrct. The new plan has preserved two distinct districts.
Governor McDonnell responded favorably to the revised plans. In a statement released prior to his signature, McDonnell stated that the plan "retains more geographic and municipal boundaries, contains districts that are somewhat more compact, and passed the Senate on a strong bipartisan vote." McDonnell also said that the plan is a "great improvement" over the previous draft. The plan will now move to the Department of Justice for approval under the Voting Rights Act.
The Senate and House are holding state legislative elections in November. If the maps are approved by the DOJ, the current calendar would require candidates to declare their eligibility by June 15, 2011. The primary would be held on August 23, 2011.
- McDonnell vetoes Virginia state redistricting plan
- As Virginia congressional map advances, backlash over state plan continues
- Virginia House approves state legislative redistricting plan
- Virginia Senate approves state legislative redistricting plan
- Redistricting in Virginia
- Virginia House of Delegates elections, 2011
- Virginia State Senate elections, 2011
- Governor's Statement on the Passage of Redistricting Legislation
- Governor's Veto Letter to Legislators
- Senate Plan, Redistricting Documents and Details
- Senate Plan, Interactive Map
- House Plan, Redistricting Documents and Details
- House Plan, Interactive Map
- Richmond Times-Dispatch, "McDonnell signs redistricting bill," April 30, 2011
- Governor's Office Press Release, "Governor McDonnell Acts on Redistricting Legislation," April 15, 2011
- Washington Examiner, "Virginia House advances new redistricting plan," April 25, 2011
- Washington Post, "McDonnell vetoes state legislative redistricting bill," April 15, 2011
- The News and Advance, "UPDATE: Va. Senate approves redistricting plan," April 28, 2011 (dead link)
- Governor's Office Press Release, "Statement of Governor Bob McDonnell on Passage of Redistricting Legislation," April 28, 2011