Feb. 7, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Off-Year Elections Mean Redistricting Head Start for Four States

The special General Assembly session focused exclusively on redistricting plans will resume after a veto session in early April. Before adjourning their session last month, lawmakers agreed to handle Congressional and state districts during the special session even though they could have split them up.

Republicans will adhere to a basic formula when looking at the Congressional districts, peeling off Republicans from safe GOP districts and using those voters to shore up vulnerable Republicans in swing districts.

The 2nd district has fluctuated between Republicans and Democrats depending on the year, and shuffling some GOP-heavy areas from the strongly Republican 1st district into the 2nd would be an easy boost for freshman Rep. Scott Rigell (R). They will also look to shore up Republican areas in the Fredericksburg area.

Officials held public hearings last fall examining the lines and paying special attention to racial representation in the Hampton Roads area. After McDonnell approves the plan, it goes to the Department of Justice because the Voting Rights Act requires Virginia to submit the lines early for preclearance. After the new lines are approved, the state will hold August party primaries delayed from June.

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