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virginia > Title 24.2 Elections > Election Districts, Precincts, And Polling Places

§ 24.2-305 Composition of election districts and precincts

Overview of Statute

This section requires that each election district and precinct be composed of compact and contiguous territory and have clearly defined and clearly observable boundaries. The section proceeds to define “clearly observable boundary.”

Statute

A. Each election district and precinct shall be composed of compact and contiguous territory and shall have clearly defined and clearly observable boundaries.

B. A “clearly observable boundary” shall include (i) any named road or street, (ii) any road or highway which is a part of the federal, primary, or secondary state highway system, (iii) any river, stream, or drainage feature shown as a polygon boundary on the TIGER/line files of the United States Bureau of the Census, or (iv) any other natural or constructed or erected permanent physical feature which is shown on an official map issued by the Virginia Department of Transportation, on a United States Geological Survey topographical map, or as a polygon boundary on the TIGER/line files of the United States Bureau of the Census. No property line or subdivision boundary shall be deemed to be a clearly observable boundary unless it is marked by a permanent physical feature that is shown on an official map issued by the Virginia Department of Transportation, on a United States Geological Survey topographical map, or as a polygon boundary on the TIGER/line files of the United States Bureau of the Census.

1986, c. 593, § 24.1-40.7; 1990, c. 500; 1992, c. 425; 1993, c. 641; 2001, c. 614.

Definition [Department]

The state agency headed by the Commissioner of Elections.

Definition [United States]

Used in the territorial sense, means the several states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, and any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

Definition [Election district]

The territory designated by proper authority or by law which is represented by an official elected by the people, including the Commonwealth, a congressional district, a General Assembly district, or a district for the election of an official of a county, city, town, or other governmental unit.

Definition [State]

A state of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, or any territory or insular possession subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.

Definition [Primary]

An election held for the purpose of selecting a candidate to be the nominee of a political party for election to office.

Definition [Election]

A general, primary, or special election.

Definition [Precinct]

The territory designated by the governing body of a county, city, or town to be served by one polling place.

Cases

virginia Cases

Case Name: Wilkins v. West

Citation: 571 S.E.2d 100

Year: 2002

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/41ae0d0ef588eddc9b1575be85d46d38

Case Summary: Holding that traditional redistricting elements, including “preservation of existing districts, incumbency, voting behavior, and communities of interest,” are legitimate legislative considerations.

Case Name: Jamerson v. Womack

Citation: 423 S.E.2d 180

Year: 1992

Case URL: https://www.ravellaw.com/opinions/7dc6bb77dab7b17d989ce37bca734bfe

Case Summary: Holding that (1) compactness in content was not necessary to satisfy the constitutional provision requiring districts to be continuous and compact and that (2) districts that were approximately 145 and 165 miles could satisfy compactness requirement.

Out-of-State Cases

Federal Cases

Regulations & Guidance