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No, Goochland’s Redistricting Map will not have to be approved by the Virginia Attorney General. The Virginia Voting Rights Act provides two paths for approval of a new redistricting map: community input or Attorney General approval. Goochland is following the Virginia Voting Rights Act process which provides for significant community on its proposed redistricting map; accordingly, the county’s new redistricting map will become effective 30 days after the Board of Supervisors adopts it, without the need to submit the map to the Attorney General for approval.
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The Proposed Redistricting Map uses a light shading to depict recorded subdivisions anywhere in the county, so that the Redistricting Team could consider subdivisions in drawing the election district boundaries, because one of the Approved Redistricting Criteria is to locate neighbors in the same subdivision in the same election district.
The U.S. Census Bureau creates Census Blocks for each decennial census. For the 2020 Census, the Census Bureau identified 780 Census Blocks in Goochland. Census Blocks are the geographical areas about which the Census Bureau reports its data. In creating a redistricting map, we cannot divide a Census Block; our proposed districts and precincts are created by bundling together Census Blocks.
Census Blocks are required to have clearly observable boundaries, generally those are streets, highways, rivers, or creeks. On the Proposed Redistricting Map, black lines show Census Block boundaries.
Each Census Block on the Proposed Redistricting Map contains a listing of three numbers: the first number (4-digits) is a shortened Census Block Identifier; the second number is the Adjusted Population from the Census Bureau. The third number is not from the Census Bureau data, but is the number of Registered Voters residing in that Census Block based on data from Goochland County’s General Registrar as of November 10, 2021. The number of Registered Voters is included because that number is needed to create proposed precincts.
In a number of instances in the Proposed Redistricting Map, the number of Registered Voters in a Census Block is larger than the Adjusted Population number. This is because of the differences between the two data sets. The Adjusted Population is a number provided by the Census Bureau based on its collection of data from residents in the 2019-2020 time period. The Registered Voter data comes from the General Registrar’s database and is current as of November 10, 2021. The gap in time between the two data sets is significant: between June 2020 (when the Census Bureau should have been finished collecting data) and now, the number of Registered Voters in Goochland has increased by 1,586.
So, for instance, look at Census Block 1003 in District 5 near the border with District 4. The Adjusted Population in that Census Block is 17 and the number of Registered Voters is 88. Census Block 1003 encompasses a portion of the Mosaic subdivision which is under construction; accordingly, there were few residents in that area when the 2020 Census data was being collected, but many more who built, moved in, and have registered as voters by November 10, 2021.
There is no requirement that each Election District have two precincts, so more could be created. Generally, though, there is a manageable number of Registered Voters in each proposed precinct, with the exception of District 4, where, because we are using the Virginia House of Delegates District 56/57 border to divide the precincts, precinct 402 has over 3,000 Registered Voters. If there is an appropriate available polling place, precinct 402 could be split, creating three precincts in District 4. The General Registrar has asked about that possibility.
No. Although there used to be a legal requirement for approval of election districts by the federal Justice Department, there is no longer any legal requirement to have the Department of Justice review and approve election district boundaries.
All residents in proposed District 5 and those residents who live in proposed precinct 402 would fall in Virginia House of Delegates District 57 under the current Proposed Redistricting Map. All other Goochland residents would be in the Virginia House of Delegates District 56.
No, not all Board members would still be located in their current districts under the Proposed Redistricting Map. District 2 Board member Neil Spoonhower would still reside in District 2, but District 3 Board member John Lumpkins would also be a resident in the proposed District 2. District 4 Board member Don Sharpe would no longer reside in District 4, but would be located in proposed District 3. The newly proposed District 4 would not have a current Board member residing in it. Board members Susan Lascolette (District 1) and Ken Peterson (District 5) would still reside in their current districts.
Yes, under state law, the members of the Board of Supervisors can continue to represent the districts for which they were elected until the next scheduled Board of Supervisors election, in 2023. This is also true for School Board members and county residents who have been appointed to county committees and boards.
All voters in Goochland will be sent a Voter Information Notice after the local redistricting process is complete. The Voter Information Notice will contain information about the voter’s local election district precinct and polling place, as well as the voter’s state and federal election districts.