Virginia

Virginia serves as the NDRC’s first electoral victory of this cycle. 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.

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How Redistricting Happened in Virginia

2011

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.

2012

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

2013

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.

2014

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.

2015

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.

2016

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.

2017

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.

2019

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

Know the Races that Impact Redistricting

  • 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 Know Your State Legislature

Virginia Lower Chamber
49

Democratic-held
seats

51

Republican-held
seats

Virginia Upper Chamber
19

Democratic-held
seats

21

Republican-held
seats

4 Vote

Vote for candidates who will unrig the system. We will have a list of candidates we are supporting later in the year.

 

Primary Election Date: June 12, 2018

General Election Date: November 6, 2018

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

The fight to fix gerrymandering is right now—and we need your help in Virginia! Here’s what you can do:

Join Organizing for ‘18

The National Democratic Redistricting Committee and Organizing for Action (OFA) launched a partnership to build a more fair democracy by strategically targeting legislative chambers, governorships, and ballot initiatives that will be critical in determining how maps are drawn after the 2020 Census.

Join a Local OFA Chapter

Alongside the National Redistricting Action Fund (an NDRC affiliate), OFA is engaging with activists and volunteers to help educate people about gerrymandering and involve them in the process of fixing a badly rigged political system.

Attend Events Near You

The National Democratic Redistricting Committee and MobilizeAmerica have teamed up to bring you the highest-impact volunteer opportunities in Virginia to help elect Democrats up and down the ticket — and bring an end to Republican gerrymandering.

You can register to vote for the general election in Virginia up until October 15, 2018.

Register
to Vote