At a special meeting on June 21, 2021, the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors adopted guidelines and a preliminary timeline for the 2021 local redistricting process. The Board also voted to maintain its current size, which consists of a chair at large and eight supervisors elected to represent single-member districts.
Redistricting is the process of redrawing the boundaries of districts that elect representatives who serve specific geographic areas. This process occurs every 10 years following the United States decennial census. Loudoun County underwent its last local redistricting process in 2011.
The process will begin after federal census data is released. While the release of that data has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is expected to be released in September 2021. County staff can then begin to develop possible scenarios, which will be brought to the Board for consideration at its October 19, 2021 business meeting. A public submission period will take place in November 2021. During that time, members of the public can review and comment on staff scenarios and submit additional plans for consideration.
The final plan is slated to be presented to the Board of Supervisors in May 2022, and the map of updated boundaries is expected to be completed by August 2022.
Public involvement is an important part of the redistricting process. The county will provide an online portal through which individuals can view and propose scenarios for redistricting, and will provide a number of opportunities for public input throughout the process.
The guidelines for the process, adopted by the Board at its June 21 meeting, are:
- All districts shall have equal representation: Districts should be drawn to provide representation in proportion to the population of the district. The "one person-one vote" approach is of paramount consideration. In the past, Loudoun County has used a deviation of plus or minus five percent from the mathematical average as an acceptable level of representation.
- The plan shall comply with the Voting Rights Act: According to the Voting Rights Act, districts should be drawn in such a way that assures that minority voters have an equal opportunity to participate in the political process and to elect representatives of their choice.
- All districts must be compact and contiguous: Each district should be a single geographic unit, not composed of separated parts.
- The census shall be the source of data: Loudoun County must use adjusted U.S. Census Bureau data supplied by the Virginia Division of Legislative Services.
- Preserve communities of interest: To the maximum extent possible, areas that have readily identifiable communities of interest should not be split. Residential sub-divisions or small villages are examples of communities of interest that should remain intact.
- Create districts with similar interest among communities: To the extent possible, create districts where the residents have similar issues and concerns as related to land use, development, traffic patterns, etc.
- Consider voter convenience and effective election administration: Each precinct must have a polling place within or immediately adjacent to it.
- Use geographical or physical features, especially arterial roadways, for district and precinct boundaries: It is essential that the district and precinct boundaries be easily identifiable. Such features as arterial roadways, stream beds and riverbeds provide distinctive, identifiable boundaries.
- Consider all alternative plans presented by interested groups and individuals: Once announced, individual citizens & interest groups should have a 30-day window to submit their suggestions using interactive mapping technology designated by the county for electronic submissions. Individuals or interest groups must live, be an established nonprofit, or have a business located in Loudoun County.
- When possible, do not split incorporated towns: Loudoun County's incorporated towns should not be divided within the boundaries of any town. It should be possible to maintain all towns intact, except perhaps the Town of Leesburg due to its larger population.
For more information, and to sign up for project updates, visit loudoun.gov/redistricting.
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