Governor calls special session

Published 9:51 pm Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Gov. Ralph Northam this week signed a proclamation to call the Virginia General Assembly into special session on Aug. 30 to redraw district lines for the Virginia House of Delegates.

This comes almost two months after a federal district court ordered the General Assembly to redraw 11 House district lines by Oct. 30.

“It is in the public interest for the General Assembly to finalize constitutional maps as soon as possible — Virginians deserve that clarity,” Northam said in a statement on Monday. “I am calling a special session so we can focus our collective attention on doing what’s right: working together to draw lines that represent Virginians fairly.”

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The General Assembly was ordered to redraw the 11 lines because a complaint was filed three years after they redrew the lines in 2011. The complaint alleged the redistricting unconstitutionally crowded a number of black voters into 12 districts so that their influence would be limited in the rest of the state.

From the 11 districts that require redrawing, two directly affect Suffolk citizens — the 77th and 80th. Cliff Hayes represents the 77th District, and Matthew James represents the 80th District. Both are Democrats.