Pittsylvania County recently completed the process of redrawing lines for local election districts and precincts and establishing polling places. This redistricting process is required to be completed every ten years. During Tuesday night's meeting the Board of Supervisors adopted Redistricting Plan A, which, out of the three proposed options, most closely resembles the current district lines. This new plan is being passed onto the State Attorney General for certification.  

Between November 1 and November 30, citizens were able to provide feedback on the three redistricting plans that were made. You can view all of that feedback here

You can also view Plan A (as well as the other two proposed redistricting plans) in this interactive interactive online map (Instructions for Using the Interactive Tool). You can also review this Detailed Census and Demographic Analysis, as well as a presentation from ARCBridge

Plan A

Redistricting Plan A Map

What is redistricting? 

Redistricting is the process of redrawing lines for local election districts and precincts and establishing polling places. In other words, the redistricting process is the recalibration of the election districts in Pittsylvania County to ensure that each has approximately equal population – and thus the elected officials represent approximately the same number of constituents. This process is based upon the most up to date population and demographic data from the United States Census Bureau, which in this case will be The 2020 Census. 

Each electoral district should have a roughly equal population, must be compact and contiguous, and must be drawn using the most up-to-date census data. There are many requirements that must be considered, and the Board of Supervisors also passed a resolution spelling out that criteria during its August meeting. The redistricting process is important to ensure that each district yields roughly equal weight in terms of population. Based on the County’s prison-adjusted population of 60,170, each district's optimum population is 8,569 residents. No district should deviate by more than 5% and there cannot be a total maximum deviation of 10%. The 2020 Census rendered Pittsylvania County’s current districts untenable, as the Banister District deviated by -11.3%, or 975 residents, and the Westover District by 7.4%, or 638 residents – meaning that the total deviation was more than 18%. 

It is important to note that the Board of Supervisors is ultimately responsible for redrawing the local election districts, whereas the Virginia Redistricting Commission oversees redistricting for congressional and state election districts.  

What does the redistricting process look like? 

In early September the Board of Supervisors selected ARCBridge Consulting & Training, a reputable redistricting company that provides similar services to localities across the country, to utilize data from the 2020 Census to develop several redistricting plans. These plans will be presented clearly to the public in a variety of ways, and the public will also have a chance to provide input. The Board of Supervisors hosted a public hearing during its November 16 meeting. In December, the Board will consider approving a plan, which would then be sent to the Attorney General's Office for certification. 

Despite the swift timeline, Pittsylvania County leaders are determined to provide a transparent and fair redistricting process. By hiring an outside firm, Pittsylvania County is ensuring that no undue influence will factor into the redrawing of district lines. ARCBridge is working with county staff now to develop a detailed timeline and comprehensive public relations plan to ensure that every interested resident can view proposed plans and provide feedback.  

Pittsylvania County Redistricting Timeline

Why is Pittsylvania County completing redistricting now? 

The Virginia Constitution requires that all localities that have elections by district must conduct redistricting every 10 years in the year ending in one. This timeline coincides with the ten-year census. Pittsylvania County is required to have the new election districts submitted to the Attorney General’s Office by Dec 31 for certification. These new election districts will remain in effect for the next ten years. 

You can read this guide on local redistricting for 2021 from the Virginia Department of Legislative Services to learn more about the redistricting process.

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