- Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 May 2011 00:00
- Published on Wednesday, 18 May 2011 00:00
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Confused about voter redistricting? There’s more to come!
As reported last month, the King George Board of Supervisors approved new election districts for electing local offices, including those for the Board of Supervisors and the School Board.
The changes to the county’s election districts were approved on April 19 and forwarded to the U.S. Department of Justice for review under the Voting Rights Act. County Registrar Lorrie Gump said she is hoping to have final
approval from the feds by mid-June.
The biggest change to the new election districts was to shift the Mathias Point peninsula from James Monroe to the Dahlgren District. Other portions of James Monroe in the center of the county were also swapped to Dahlgren and Shiloh, along with changes to the boundary line between Monroe and James Madison.
Gump told The Journal voters should be on the lookout for receipt of their new voter cards in late summer. The voter cards will provide the location of their polling places for all voters. Those who have been affected by the county’s boundary line shifts will be voting in different locations than in past elections. Maps of the former and new county election districts can be found online at the county’s website.
CHANGE IN STATE ELECTION DISTRICTS
Last week, the state submitted an approved redistricting plan for electing Virginia senators and delegates to the General Assembly.
The state’s redistricting plan for Virginia state senate districts will add two additional precincts in King George. There will also be additional costs involved for the county to equip them.
The redistricting plans for the House of Delegates and Senate were submitted to the Department of Justice on May 10 for approval under the Voting Rights Act. Expedited approval has been requested from the feds so individual registrars can begin preparing for the new districts and precincts that result in each locality.
SOME VOTERS SHIFTED
While the entire county is to remain in the 99th District for the House of Delegates, King George is being split up between two state senate districts.
Up until now, all of King George has been represented by the 28th Senate District. Under the new lines, the top section of the county will continue to be in the 28th, represented by Richard Stuart. But the southern part of the county will be in the 4th Senate District, currently represented by Ryan McDougal.
The southern section of the Courthouse precinct in James Madison and the southern section of the Shiloh District will be shifted to the 4th senatorial district.
According to Kyle Conboy, the county’s GIS coordinator, the Courthouse precinct in the James Madison district will have 1,389 voters in the 4th senatorial district and the Shiloh district will have 1,745 voters shifted to the 4th senatorial district.
All of the new Passapatanzy precinct remains in the 28th senatorial district with the split in James Madison coming near the intersection of Routes 3 and 607. The area to the south of Kings Highway and east of Port Conway Road will be in the 4th senatorial district at that point.
Then the northern boundary line between the 4th and 28th districts roughly follows Route 3 toward the east for a short bit and then parallels Route 3 to the north of it, continuing through the Shiloh district. (click here for the senatorial district map.)
Registrar Gump’s current thinking is that the five current polling places will continue to be utilized for the county’s four voting districts, with James Madison having its two precincts.
But the county will have to purchase at least two each additional touch-screen voting machines and optic scanners for counting paper ballots. And when it comes time to vote for state senators, about four additional election officers will need to be hired for both the Courthouse precinct and the Shiloh district to assist voters in the new 4th senatorial districts as well as those in the 28th senatorial district.
NEXT UP: FEDERAL CONGRESSIONAL REDISTRICTING
The federal government allocates congressional seats to the states through reapportionment on the basis of total population. But, under federal law, each state is responsible for drawing its own Congressional district boundaries.
The Virginia General Assembly is scheduled to reconvene on June 9 to finalize its federal congressional redistricting plan.
For King George, congressional redistricting is of interest for the boundaries for the 1st Congressional district, represented by Rob Wittman. The current plan would keep all of King George where it currently is.