Virginia serves as the NDRC’s first electoral victory. In 2017, the NDRC and its affiliated groups made significant monetary investments in support of Governor Ralph Northam and Democrats running for the House of Delegates. For the first time since 1991, a Democrat will have veto power over redistricting. In 2019, we are targeting the state Senate and the House of Delegates.


Redistricting in Virginia


Following the election of Republican Governor Bob McDonnell in 2009 and the 2011 State Senate elections, Republicans took control of the state House and governorship with an equal number of legislators as the Democrats in the Senate. This meant that Republicans had effective control in the governorship and both chambers of the state legislature, with the Republican Lieutenant Governor providing a tie-breaking vote in the Senate.

Census data delivered to Virginia.

Republicans gerrymandered a state legislative map; Governor McDonnell signed the new map.


President Barack Obama won Virginia with 51% of the vote, yet the new gerrymandered maps gave Republicans 73% of the congressional delegation.


Complaint filed alleging that Congressional District 3 was a racial gerrymander in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

Democrat Terry McAuliffe won the race for governor by 3 points, but the gerrymandered maps gave Republicans 67% of the state House.


Court struck down Congressional District 3 as a racial gerrymander. Republicans appealed the case to the Supreme Court.

Voters sued over the state House map, arguing that the map was a racial gerrymander.


A special master was appointed to redraw the congressional map.

A three-judge panel dismissed the case, finding no evidence of racial discrimination in the configuration of the state legislature redistricting map. Plaintiffs appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.


The Supreme Court rejected the Republican-led challenge to the lower court’s finding of racial gerrymandering. The new, fair, constitutional congressional map remains in place.


The U.S. Supreme Court reversed the panel’s decision, finding the wrong standard was applied by the court in determining whether racial gerrymandering occurred when drawing the state legislative map. The Court remanded the case to the trial court, where it is pending.

With the support of the NDRC, Democrat Ralph Northam won the governor’s race by a 9-point margin with 54% of the vote. In races for the House of Delegates, Republicans won less than 44% of votes statewide, but retain a majority with 51-49 delegates in the chamber.


Virginia voters will have the opportunity to flip the majority in the House of Delegates and pick up seats in the state Senate.

  • Governor. Victory! Governor Ralph Northam won in November of 2017, securing a Democratic governor in Virginia for the 2021 redistricting process.
  • House of Delegates. Democrats flipped 15 seats in the House of Delegates in 2017, shifting the partisan breakdown to 49-51. Seats in the House of Delegates will be up for election in 2019. 

1 Know the Decision Makers

The redistricting process is controlled by different elected officials in each state. Knowing who they are and when to vote for them is the key to creating a fairer redistricting process. Congressional and state legislative district lines in Virginia are drawn by the state legislature and approved by the governor.

  • Governor
  • State Senate
  • House of Delegates

2 Endorsed Candidates

Eric H. Holder, Jr., the 82nd Attorney General of the United States and Chairman of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, endorsed 17 candidates running for office in Virginia’s state legislative elections this November. All of the endorsed candidates have signed NDRC’s Fair Districts Pledge which calls for an end to gerrymandering.

3 Know Your State Legislature

Virginia Lower Chamber




Virginia Upper Chamber




Court Cases Impacting Virginia

In 2014, Virginia’s congressional map was struck down in Page v. Virginia Board of Elections after the court found the map to be an unconstitutional racial gerrymander. Later, a federal court invalidated one of Virginia’s congressional districts as an unconstitutional racial gerrymander in the case Wittman v. Personhuballah, resulting in an additional congressional district in which minorities are able to elect their preferred candidates. In a separate lawsuit called Bethune Hill v. Virginia Board of Elections, plaintiffs– supported by the NDRC’s affiliate the National Redistricting Foundation–successfully argued that the state’s legislative map included racially gerrymandered districts. The court recently ordered the Virginia legislature to draw new maps as soon as possible, in a major victory for Virginia voters and advocates of fair redistricting.

Page v. Virginia Board of Elections

The Virginia congressional map was struck down in 2014 because of an unconstitutional racial gerrymander.

Wittman v. Personhuballah

Read the Court order instituting a remedial map here.

Bethune Hill v. Virginia Board of Elections

Read the U.S. Supreme Court's 2017 opinion, sending the case back to the lower court.

Get Involved in Virginia Today