Constitutional amendment; Virginia Redistricting Commission, criteria to redraw certain districts. (SJ230)

Introduced By

Sen. Glen Sturtevant (R-Midlothian) with support from co-patron Del. Kaye Kory (D-Falls Church)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate


Constitutional amendment (first resolution); Virginia Redistricting Commission; criteria for legislative and congressional districts. Establishes the seven-member Virginia Redistricting Commission (the Commission) to redraw congressional and General Assembly district boundaries after each decennial census. The Commission is directed to certify district plans for the General Assembly within 30 days of receipt of the new census data or by June 1 of the year following the census, whichever occurs later, and for the House of Representatives within 60 days of receipt of the census data or by July 1 of the year following the census, whichever occurs later. The amendment also establishes the standards to govern redistricting plans, which include the current constitutional standards on population equality, compactness, and contiguity and additional standards to minimize splits of localities and to prohibit consideration of incumbency and political data. Read the Bill »


01/31/2017: Incorporated into Another Bill


11/15/2016Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/11/17 17100194D
11/15/2016Referred to Committee on Privileges and Elections
01/20/2017Assigned to P&E sub: Constitutional Amendments
01/31/2017Incorporated by Privileges and Elections (SJ231-Hanger) (14-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)


Phil Thomas writes:

Redistricting should be handled by an independent board to prevent gerrymandering. Partisan redistricting is highly corrosive to democracy.

Elizabeth Melson writes:

An independent board should create compact districts using computer modeling, therefore, avoiding gerrymandering. See this article for an example

Rob Waters writes:

Three years of lawsuits, and we can't get a bill that removes the General Assembly from the process, since typically we see redistricting designed to benefit parties over the voters.

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.

Eva King writes:

I strongly support redistricting reform, to stop partisan gerrymandering! This needs to be an independent body, to benefit voters, and not whichever party is in power at the time.

Brad writes:

I am a constituent of Sen. Sturtevant's district and I strongly support this bill. It is evident that the current redistricting procedure tempts abuse by whichever party controls the legislature. The only way to ensure a government accountable to its citizens is to ensure that the vote of each citizen counts equally.