Thursday, January 26, 2012

McDonnell signs congressional redistricting bill

On Tuesday night, Governor Bob McDonnell signed the bill to approve the newly-redrawn congressional districts in Virginia that were passed last week by the General Assembly. The legislation passed after easily gaining approval from the House with a 74-21 vote and then squeaked by on a 20-19 vote from the evenly divided State Senate after Democratic Senator John Edwards was on leave of absence.

The governor's approval was confirmed by Tucker Martin, a spokesman for the governor. "After reviewing the legislation, and consulting with the Attorney General’s office, the governor has signed the bill."

Earlier that day Richmond Circuit Court Judge Richard D. Taylor Jr. refused to allow a motion from the attorney general's office to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the new congressional lines. Democrats have asked that the courts step in and redraw Virginia's eleven congressional districts, claiming the current plan disenfranchises African-American voters, and that a plan was not approved last year.

The redistricting comes after the 2010 census and reflects population shifts in the Commonwealth.

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