Redistricting process. (SB1206)

Introduced By

Sen. Lynwood Lewis (D-Accomac) with support from co-patron Sen. Dave Marsden (D-Burke)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Redistricting process. Provides a new method for the preparation of state legislative and congressional redistricting plans. The bill spells out standards for developing plans, including population equality, compactness, maintenance of cores of existing districts, and respect for locality boundaries; precludes consideration of incumbency and political data in developing plans; assigns responsibility to the Division of Legislative Services (the Division) to prepare plans for submission to the General Assembly; and establishes a temporary redistricting advisory commission to advise the Division, disseminate information on plans, and hold hearings for public reaction to plans. The bill provides that the General Assembly may reject the Division's plans and may ultimately amend the plans. This bill is patterned after the Iowa redistricting process. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


01/10/2017Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/11/17 17103776D
01/10/2017Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections
01/31/2017Failed to report (defeated) in Privileges and Elections (7-Y 7-N) (see vote tally)
02/01/2017Impact statement from DPB (SB1206)


ACLU-VA Voting Rights, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

The ACLU of Virginia supports redistricting legislation that is independent, non-partisan, and that adheres to fair and equal representation for all, upholding the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equality, “one-person, one vote.” Additionally, redistricting legislation must comply with the Constitution’s and the Voting Rights Act’s prohibition on the use of plans that result in diluting minority voting strength. Communities of color, in particular, have faced numerous obstacles to meaningful participation in the political process, including the redistricting process. Legislators should ensure these communities’ effective involvement and equal opportunity in the political process and the ability to elect candidates of choice. Legislators should recognize that every voter has a vital stake in the outcome of their community’s redistricting by supporting proposals that uphold these principles. Voters must feel welcome to participate meaningfully in redistricting through a collaborative process with lawmakers, redistricting experts, various groups and organizations to draw and analyze plans. Redistricting legislation should require and promote transparency, such as a mandatory report detailing the process and bases for decisions.