New proposed map for House of Delegates boundaries expected Dec. 7
Jeremy M. Lazarus | 10/25/2018, 6 a.m.
A proposed map showing revamped House of Delegates districts is expected to be released Friday, Dec. 7, according to the U.S. District Court for Eastern Virginia.
A federal three-judge panel hired Bernard Grofman, an economics and political science professor at the University of California-Irvine, to redraw the lines after five districts in the Richmond area and six in Hampton Roads previously were found to be illegally packed with African-American voters.
Boundaries of up to 30 districts may be affected when the map is redrawn, providing relief to voters who successfully sued to overturn the current map. The court found the map was gerrymandered to benefit Republicans by putting more Democrat-leaning African-Americans in a few districts and reducing their influence in adjacent districts.
The court wants to release Dr. Grofman’s map during the first week of December and then seek further input before settling on a final map to be used in the 2019 when all 100 seats in the Virginia House of Delegates and all 40 seats in the state Senate will be up for election.
This is Dr. Grofman’s second stint as a special master. In 2015, he was called on by the court to redraw Virginia’s congressional districts after another three-judge panel found the 3rd Congressional District also was over packed with African-American voters.
His map led Richmond to become part of a freshly drawn 4th Congressional District and the election of A. Donald McEachin, previously a state senator, to represent the district. Congressman McEachin is now running for re-election against a Republican and a Libertarian challenger.