Virginia Supreme Court issues final legislative maps

Posted at 10:41 AM, Dec 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-29 17:12:04-05

NORFOLK, Va. - Following months of controversy, the Virginia Supreme Court has now issued the final legislative maps, completing Virginia's redistricting process.

Last year, voters approved creating a bipartisan commission to redraw Virginia's state and congressional legislative districts, a process required every ten years when new census data comes out.

The commission was unable to come to an agreement on the maps and sent the process to the Virginia Supreme Court, who appointed two Special Masters to draw the maps.

The final version of the maps bring some significant changes to representation in Hampton Roads.

For example, the second congressional district, represented by Elaine Luria, now includes more rural areas like southern Chesapeake, Suffolk, and Isle of Wight county. It previously included parts of the Peninsula.

All of Norfolk is now in the third congressional district, represented by Bobby Scott. Parts of Norfolk were previously in the second district.

The fourth district used to include a large portion of Chesapeake and areas west. It now does not come into Hampton Roads, except for the western part of Southampton County.

The court also issued new maps for the Virginia House of Delegates and Senate. Previous versions of the maps had several incumbent lawmakers drawn into the same districts.

Longtime State Senator Louise Lucas announced plans to run for re-election.

During the process, the Special Masters allowed for public comments and in a written memo said they used the public comments to make adjustments to issue the final maps.

"It's very important because these are the lines in which neighbors, families, and communities coalesce and come together and say, 'This is the person who we want to represent our views and our interests," said political analyst Dr. Eric Claville.

News 3 reached out to Luria's campaign to see if she has a reaction to the maps, but has not heard back.