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

§ 24.2-311 Effective date of decennial redistricting measures; elections following decennial redistricting

Overview of Statute

This section contains the effective date of decennial redistricting measures and provides the timing for general elections following decennial redistricting. This section also discusses filling vacancies that occur after the effective date of a decennial redistricting measure and election of representatives for newly added districts. In the event of a conflict between the provisions of a decennial redistricting measure and the provisions of a locality charter, the provisions of the redistricting measure shall override to the extent required to give effect to the redistricting plan.

Statute

A. Legislation enacted to accomplish the decennial redistricting of congressional and General Assembly districts required by Article II, Section 6 of the Constitution of Virginia shall take effect immediately. Members of Congress and the General Assembly in office on the effective date of the decennial redistricting legislation shall complete their terms of office. The elections for their successors shall be held at the November general election next preceding the expiration of the terms of office of the incumbent members and shall be conducted on the basis of the districts set out in the legislation to accomplish the decennial redistricting. However, (i) if the decennial redistricting of congressional districts has not been enacted and approved for implementation pursuant to § 5 of the United States Voting Rights Act of 1965 before January 1 of the year of the election for statewide office, the previously enacted congressional districts shall remain in effect for the purpose of meeting the petition signature requirements set out in §§ 24.2-506, 24.2-521, 24.2-543, and 24.2-545 and (ii) any reference on a petition to the usual primary date of the second Tuesday in June shall not be cause to invalidate the petition even though the date of the primary may be altered by law.

B. Ordinances adopted by local governing bodies to accomplish the decennial redistricting of districts for county, city, and town governing bodies required by Article VII, Section 5 of the Constitution of Virginia shall take effect immediately. Members of county, city, and town governing bodies in office on the effective date of a decennial redistricting measure shall complete their terms of office. The elections for their successors shall be held at the general election next preceding the expiration of the terms of office of the incumbent members and shall be conducted on the basis of the districts set out in the measures to accomplish the decennial redistricting.

C. If a vacancy in any such office occurs after the effective date of a decennial redistricting measure and a special election is required by law to fill the vacancy, the vacancy shall be filled from the district in the decennial redistricting measure which most closely approximates the district in which the vacancy occurred.

D. If a decennial redistricting measure adopted by a local governing body adds one or more districts and also increases the size of the governing body, an election for the additional governing body member or members to represent the additional district or districts for the full or partial term provided by law shall be held at the next November general election in any county or in any city or town that regularly elects its governing body in November pursuant to § 24.2-222.1, or at the next May general election in any other city or town, which occurs at least 120 days after the effective date of the redistricting measure.

E. In the event of a conflict between the provisions of a decennial redistricting measure and the provisions of the charter of any locality, the provisions of the redistricting measure shall be deemed to override the charter provisions to the extent required to give effect to the redistricting plan.

1990, c. 500, § 24.1-17.2; 1993, c. 641; 2000, c. 1045; 2012, c. 791.

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 [General election]

An election held in the Commonwealth on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November or on the first Tuesday in May for the purpose of filling offices regularly scheduled by law to be filled at those times.

Definition [Special election]

Any election that is held pursuant to law to fill a vacancy in office or to hold a referendum.

Definition [Statewide office]

The office of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or Attorney General.

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.

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