PITTSYLVANIA COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — The mandatory redistricting process is currently underway in Pittsylvania County. The newly-drawn election districts will then go into effect in 2022 following a months-long process of developing plans, gathering public input, and receiving certification from the Virginia Attorney General.
Pittsylvania County said in a statement on Friday, Sept. 17 that the Virginia Constitution requires all localities that have elections by district to conduct redistricting every 10 years in the year ending in one, thus coinciding with the 10-year census. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the results of the 2020 Census were not released until September.
As a result of this months-long delay and Pittsylvania County’s small staff, officials say they decided to hire a company — ARCBridge Consulting & Training — to complete the redistricting process.
“Redistricting is a significant process that has an impact on many parts of our county, from school and election districts to polling precincts and locations,” said Assistant Pittsylvania County Administrator Dave Arnold. “With the strict guidelines governing the redistricting process and the tight timetable caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, we decided that the best option to ensure a quality and fair redistricting process was to hire an outside firm.”
According to Pittsylvania County, a resolution adopted by the Board of Supervisors stipulates — as is required by federal and state laws — that election districts shall be as nearly equal in population as practicable, shall be compact and contiguous, shall have distinct boundaries, and existing boundary lines shall be maintained where possible.
Officials say ARCBridge will spend the next several months analyzing census data and population changes since the 2010 Census. Then, three potential redistricting plans will be made available to the public — both on paper and online — in early November.
Members of the Pittsylvania County community will have the chance to share their feedback about these plans, including during a public hearing at the Board of Supervisors’ Nov. 16 meeting.
Once the Board of Supervisors hears all citizen input and requests any changes from ARCBridge, the board will choose which of the three plans to adopt and send on to the Virginia Attorney General for certification.
You can learn more about the redistricting process and look for any updates in Pittsylvania County’s process by following this link.
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