Sign-up header

Enter your email address to receive important updates


Email Address:

signup bottom

Redistricting News

California Elections Influenced By Redistricting, SuperPacs

Fair Districts helped Democrats make gains in Florida election

How Redistricting Could Keep the House Red for a Decade.

Nonpartisan redistricting bill fails in Virginia House

Va. judge denies motion to dismiss congressional redistricting lawsuit

Recent Article: Another Redistricting Fiasco in the Making

In a recent editorial the Times-Dispatch points out the weaknesses of the G.A. redistricting plan.

From the Virginia Redistricting Coalition
Contact: C. Douglas Smith
804-370-6689 or

Virginia Redistricting Coalition Applauds Governor's Veto of Redistricting Bill

(RICHMOND, Va.) Calling it a "historic step in the right direction," today the Virginia Redistricting Coalition praised Governor Bob McDonnell for vetoing the legislative redistricting plan passed by the Virginia General Assembly. Governor McDonnell not only rejected the Senate plan as "the kind of partisan gerrymandering that Virginians have asked that we leave in the past," he also encouraged the House to "pursue opportunities to strengthen its plan."

"While the Governor has taken a historic step in the right direction in rejecting this bill, it's now time for Governor McDonnell and our legislative leaders to step to the plate and develop a redistricting plan that serves all Virginians," said C. Douglas Smith, director of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy and chairman of the Virginia Redistricting Coalition. "Though the governor puts most of his emphasis on the Senate plan, the House plan is also flawed. This opportunity shouldn't be used as a political end run to create delays or gain partisan advantage."

The Virginia Redistricting Coalition is a statewide group of organizations and individuals who advocate bipartisan redistricting reform.

C. Douglas Smith can be reached at 804-370-6689 or


  • The Governor's Bipartisan Commission on Redistricting has now completed its report. Click below to find out about their recommendations for redrawing the districts in Virginia - then compare to the General Assembly's plans. Click here to read the report.

  • The first two redistricting bills were introduced at the General Assembly. The nonpartisan Virginia Public Access Project (VPAP) has added tools to help citizens follow the process.

  • College students compete to redraw Virginia's congressional districts

  • Independent Advisory Commission on Redistricting

      For Immediate Release

      Feb. 11, 2011

      Contact: Quentin Kidd ( Michael McDonald ( or team advisors listed below

      Competition begins as Virginia college teams redraw Virginia's political map

      Student teams at 13 Virginia colleges are competing to produce fair alternatives to gerrymandered political districts as state lawmakers race to remake Virginia's electoral map. Using fresh population data from the 2010 Census, the student teams will propose new boundaries for Virginia's 11 congressional districts, 100 state House districts and 40 state Senate districts. The Constitution requires all 50 states to reapportion legislative districts in accordance with the population shifts recorded by the Census. With state elections looming this fall, Virginia is the first to act.

      The first such competition in the nation, the Virginia College and University Legislative Redistricting Competition ( ) began Thursday, Feb. 10. By March 10, the teams must present their proposed district maps to the nationally recognized judges, Thomas Mann of the Brookings Institution and Norman Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute. The best maps in each category will be awarded a cash prize and will be presented for consideration by the Independent Bipartisan Advisory Commission on Redistricting created by Gov. Bob McDonnell. With input from the college competition and others, the Commission will make its recommendation to the General Assembly. Legislative committees are also working on new district boundaries, and the Assembly will convene a special session to vote on new maps in April. "The Virginia Redistricting Competition provides a wonderful opportunity to open a process that is traditionally closed and politically self-serving to public scrutiny and participation," said Mann. "We are pleased to play a role in this very constructive initiative."

      The competition was organized by Dr. Quentin Kidd of Christopher Newport University ( and Dr. Michael McDonald of George Mason University ( The teams will use online redistricting software developed by the Public Mapping Project ( .), a collaborative effort led by McDonald and Dr. Micah Altman, senior research scientist at Harvard University Thomas Mann is the W. Averell Harriman Chair and senior fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. Between 1987 and 1999, he was director of Governmental Studies at Brookings. Before that, Mann was executive director of the American Political Science Association. Norman Ornstein is a long-time observer of Congress and politics. He writes a weekly column for Roll Call and is an election analyst for CBS News. He serves as co-director of the AEI-Brookings Election Reform Project and participates in AEI's Election Watch series.

      Here is a list of the college teams and faculty sponsors, with e-mail contacts:

      Christopher Newport University
      Brennan Kraxberger

      College of William & Mary (1)
      John McGlennon Ron Rapoport

      College of William & Mary (2)
      Rebecca Hulse

      George Mason University
      Gabe Hudson

      James Madison University (1)
      Tim LaPira

      James Madison University (2)
      Chris John Koski

      Longwood University
      Mary Carver

      University of Mary Washington
      Chad Murphy

      Norfolk State University
      Rudolph Wilson

      Old Dominion University
      Tom Chapman

      University of Richmond
      Dan Palazzolo

      Roanoke College
      Heath Brown

      Radford College
      Todd Makse

      University of Virginia (1)
      Charles Kromkowski

      University of Virginia (2)
      Chris Gist

      Virginia Commonwealth University
      J. Paul Brooks

      Janet Madison
      Virginia Press Association
      Virginia Press Services
      11529 Nuckols Road
      Glen Allen, VA 23059
      804-521-7571 (phone)
      804-521-7590 (fax)

        News Release:
        Contact: Doug Smith

        January 12, 2011


              The Virginia Redistricting Coalition today applauded Governor Bob McDonnell's establishment and appointment of an Independent Bipartisan Commission on Redistricting.

              "We have supported and worked for bipartisan redistricting in Virginia for years. The Governor's action is recognition that citizens of the Commonwealth want fair, nonpartisan political districts," said Doug Smith, executive director of the Virginia Interfaith Center, who serves as leader of the Coalition.

              "The Coalition believes the Governor's action is a first step toward a truly bipartisan process as now used in a growing number of states," Smith said.

              The Virginia Redistricting Coalition brings together major statewide organizations, including AARP Virginia, the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, League of Women Voters, Virginia League of Conservation Voters, the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, Virginia 21 and Virginia Organizing, as well as local organizations such as the Future of Hampton Roads, Richmond First Club and the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce.

              The Coalition is supported by political leaders such as Senator Mark Warner, former Governor Linwood Holton and former Senator George Allen and by business leaders across Virginia.

              Governor McDonnell established the advisory commission through executive order to create and review proposed redistricting plans for the House of Delegates, the state Senate and Virginia's 11 seats in the U.S, House of Representatives.

              Among the criteria the Independent Bipartisan Commission must use as a guide are whether districts are contiguous and compact, meet the Voting Rights Act of 1965, limit the number of counties and cities divided among districts, and preserve communities of interest. The Commission will certify plans that meet these and other redistricting criteria to the General Assembly for consideration.

              From its outset three years ago, the Virginia Redistricting Coalition has sought change that will encourage more candidates to seek public office, end the practice of primaries being the only opportunity for voters to choose a candidate and return to the Constitution-ordered practice of fair representation of all citizens. The Coalition moved into high gear as this year's deadline approached for the legislative redistricting based on Census figures that will be released in February. Proposals were made to the Governor to encourage and assist him in establishing a bipartisan commission.

              "We are especially pleased with the caliber of the governor's appointees to the commission," Smith said. Noting that the Commission membership includes an equal number of Republicans and Democrats, two former judges and an independent chair, the Coalition expressed its belief that the Commission will introduce a new level of fairness to redistricting in Virginia.

              "Governor McDonnell deserves a great deal of credit for taking this step that is politically risky, based on the members of the General Assembly who have refused to allow legislation to pass that would have established a bipartisan approach to redistricting years ago," Smith said.



      VPAP Goes Live with Redistricting Maps - Feb. 3, 2011

      The Virginia Public Access Project ( has posted maps with 2010 Census data that show which legislative districts must add or shed population.


      VPAP Report:

      McDonnell Appoints Bipartisan Panel

      For the first time, Virginia will have a bipartisan redistricting commission to make recommendations on how to reapportion General Assembly and Congressional Districts.

      Gov. Bob McDonnell has appointed an 11-member panel that can draw up its own maps or review maps prepared by others.

      It's unclear what effect the commission will have on the General Assembly, which is expected convene a special redistricting session in April. The commission is advisory in nature; the General Assembly is not bound by its recommendations.

      View list of panel members, press reports:



      Redistricting Editorial from the Richmond Times-Dispatch:

      See vpap website for additional articles:
  • Home  |   About  |   Advocacy  |   Meetings  |   Speakers  |   Membership  |   Links  |   News & Views
    ©  2004-2009     Richmond First Club                Site developed by Fidato Management Group