New legislative districts now in effect

Virginia’s new Congressional and legislative districts are now in place for the next nine years, effective immediately. The state Supreme Court has approved new districts for the House of Delegates, state Senate, and the eleven members of the House of Representatives in Congress. These were drawn by two Special Masters after a bipartisan commission failed to reach consensus in October. Those maps were amended following public comments earlier this month. 

“Redistricting is a complex task, one that requires the balancing of multiple competing factors,” wrote Sean Trende and Bernard Groffman. “Unfortunately, it simply was not possible to incorporate every single request while remaining within the bounds of Virginia and federal law.”

Albemarle and Charlottesville will remain in the 5th Congressional District, though Albemarle’s border with Greene and Orange counties will now be its northern edge. The 5th will continue to cover points south to North Carolina including the cities of Lynchburg and Danville, as well as the town of Farmville in Prince Edward County. Fluvanna, Louisa, and Nelson are also within the 5th. An earlier map drawn by the Special Masters had split Albemarle into two. 

“The existing congressional map splits 14 counties 16 times,” the masters continued. “The existing Senate of Virginia map splits 46 counties 78 times. The existing House of Delegates map splits 60 counties 138 times. By comparison, the submitted congressional map splits 10 counties a total of 11 times.”

A small section of northwest Albemarle is within the 7th District. There’s even a Twitter account.

The 5th District formerly extended up into northern Virginia, but the new districts tend not to split counties. Greene and Orange counties entirely within a redrawn 7th District along with Culpeper, Madison, Spotsylvania, and Stafford counties, as well as the city of Fredericksburg. Fauquier, Loudoun and Rappahannock counties are now in the 10th District as well as portions of Prince William County. 

In the Virginia Senate, Albemarle and Charlottesville are now within the new 11th District, as well as Amherst and Nelson counties, as well as a portion of western Louisa County. Fluvanna County and the rest of Louisa are in the 10th. Greene County is in the new 28th district along with Madison, Culpeper, and Orange counties. 

In the Virginia House of Representatives, the city of Charlottesville is now in the 54th House District as well as some of the urban ring of Albemarle. The rest of Albemarle is now within the 55th House District as well as portions of eastern Nelson County. The rest of Nelson is in the 53rd as well as all of Amherst County and the northern half of Bedford County.  Under the former system, Albemarle was split by four districts.

A map of Virginia’s new 5th Congressional District 

Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the December 29, 2021 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

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