Redistricting at the Local Level in Virginia
Many local jurisdictions in Virginia are redrawing the boundaries of their election or magisterial districts this year to reflect the results of the 2020 Census. The law applies to jurisdictions who elect officials chosen to represent a part of the jurisdiction. There are only four counties who elect their supervisors on a county-wide basis: Arlington, Highland, Madison, and Mathews counties. Some cities and smaller jurisdictions will also have to tackle redistricting.
Why You Should Care
Local elected officials make many decisions that affect you, your family and your community. These can include decisions on tax rates and spending on schools, parks, emergency services, social services, public health services and libraries.
How It Works
Local jurisdictions determine how they will manage their redistricting processes.
The Virginia Constitution requires that local election districts –
- Be drawn using the most recent decennial Census data
- Be substantially equal in population
- Cannot be drawn to discriminate based on race
- Must be contiguous and compact.
The Division of Legislative Services has created this resource to help explain the applicable laws and processes.
Make Sure Your Voice Is Heard!
- Learn more about your local process.
- Learn more about the boundaries of the district where you live.
- Provide input, in writing or at public hearings, on what changes should be made or the changes that are under consideration.
Here are links to information about the processes in Virginia counties and cities. The links are grouped according to the “Cities and Counties by Region” map created by the University of Virginia Weldon Cooper Center. Some offer proposed maps, a schedule of meetings, and provide a form or other method for the public to comment.
For those counties with no link, four are elected county-wide so are not required to redistrict. (Arlington, Highland, Madison, and Mathews) For other counties without links, the office of the County Administrator is your best source of information. It should also be possible to search the online Board of Supervisors “Agendas and Minutes” for work sessions on redistricting and announcements of public hearings on any proposed redistricting ordinance.
Cities – Charlottesville, Colonial Heights, Hopewell, Petersburg, Richmond
Counties – Albemarle, Amelia, Caroline, Charles City, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Fluvanna, Goochland, Greene, Hanover, Henrico, King William, Louisa, Madison, Nelson, New Kent, Orange, Powhatan, Prince George
Cities – None
Counties – Accomack, Essex, King & Queen, Lancaster, Middlesex, Northampton, Northumberland, Richmond, Westmoreland
Counties – Gloucester, Isle of Wight, James City, Mathews, Surry, York
Cities – Danville, Emporia, Franklin, Martinsville
Cities – Bristol, Galax, Norton
Counties – Bland, Buchanan, Carroll, Dickenson, Grayson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Smyth, Tazewell, Washington, Washington, Wise, Wythe
Cities – Buena Vista, Covington, Harrisonburg, Lexington, Staunton, Waynesboro, Winchester
Counties – Alleghany, Augusta, Bath, Frederick, Highland, Page, Rockbridge, Rockingham, Shenandoah
Cities – Lynchburg, Radford, Roanoke, Salem
Note – Information on the Franklin County redistricting process is on pages 147-154 of the document.