How can I get more involved?

Opportunities for Public Participation

With Virginia’s new Redistricting Commission, citizen participation in drawing new legislative district boundaries has expanded exponentially.

  • Half of the 16-member commission members are non-legislators
  • Commission meetings -- including map-drawing sessions -- are open to the public - Meeting Schedule
  • The public, taking advantage of free online mapping software, can submit maps of their own
  • The Commission will hold a series of public hearings - Hearings Schedule
  • All Commission data and documents are subject to the Freedom of Information Act

Draw Your Own Map

The proliferation of free, online mapping websites has made it easier for individuals and groups to produce examples of how they believe legislative districts should be drawn. Submitting your own map to the Redistricting Commission is a way to show how to comply with the letter and spirit of the criteria set by law

What to consider when creating your own maps

Here are three of the most popular free mapping websites that come loaded with Census block maps and underlying data:

VPAP will display any map that has been submitted to the Virginia Redistricting Commission. However, we reserve the right not to display maps that fail to meet the following guidelines:

  • VPAP will only accept statewide maps that contain the correct number of districts -- 100 for the Virginia House of Delegates, 40 for the State Senate and 11 for the U.S. House of Representatives.
  • Your finished map must be in a common digital format and contain a relationship file matching U.S. Census blocks (using the U.S. Census’s GEOID20 field) to district numbers and a vector file which has the geometries/shapes of the districts. Most mapping software can export your maps to meet these standards. We can also accept URLs which link to hosted maps from any of the resources listed in the question above. We cannot accept maps drawn on paper or PDFs of maps.
  • VPAP reserves the right to not accept maps for other reasons such as the map clearly does not follow the law, ignores the Voting Rights Act or fails to meet our series of validation steps.

How VPAP Will Display your Map

Please note that the below images are subject to change as VPAP continually refines its page designs.

VPAP will display all maps received by the Redistricting Commission (either produced by the Commission itself or submitted by groups and citizens) in three basic ways:

One, VPAP will display an interactive map of your plan, show how it might change the overall partisan makeup of the legislature and indicate if any sitting legislators have been combined into the same districts.

Voter-centric page

Two, VPAP will show how your map compares to Commission-drawn maps (and others) when it comes to meeting the legal criteria spelled out in law.

Voter-centric page

Three, VPAP will show individual voters how your map would reshape the districts in which they live.

Voter-centric page

Identify a "Community of Interest"

The law now requires that the Redistricting Commission should take steps to preserve communities of interest, which the law defines as a "neighborhood or any geographically defined group of people living in an area who share similar social, cultural, and economic interests."

A number of groups, including OneVirginia2021, is encouraging members to define communities that should not be divided by legislative lines. However, two tools designed specifically to draw communities of interest are:

March 1, 2021