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What Happens Now That the Redistricting Amendment Has Been Approved?

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NPR
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Voters have approved a constitutional amendment creating a new redistricting commission, which now has a dizzying series of deadlines it must meet.

Calling all retired circuit court judges. Are you interested in helping select citizen members of the new redistricting commission? If so, you'd better submit your resume to the chief justice of the Virginia Supreme Court because the deadline for him to send a list of 10 potential judges to the General Assembly is November 15th.

Delegate Mark Cole says after the judges select the citizen members, they'll still be waiting around for Census data that might be delayed because of the pandemic.

"And, there's some speculation that the current House members may run in their current districts in ‘21 and then have to run in the new redistricted districts in ‘22," Cole says.

Delegate Marcus Simon says even if the Census numbers arrive at the beginning of April, that'll still create the possibility for separate primaries for statewide races and the General Assembly races.

"Usually delegates don't like to run for statewide office because they have to pick something to run for, and they lose the opportunity to run for their House seat," Simon explains. "But you could find a situation this year where you run for statewide office, you lose your primary in June and we don't even open the application process for candidates for the House until the end of June or July."

Now that the amendment has passed, lawmakers will resume their special session to draft implementing legislation to lay out a plan for how all of this is going to work.

This report, provided by Virginia Public Radio, was made possible with support from the Virginia Education Association.

Michael Pope is an author and journalist who lives in Old Town Alexandria.