The Virginia Supreme Court has appointed two special masters nominated by either political party to redraw Virginia’s electoral maps within a 30-day deadline after an independent state commission deadlocked over a redistricting plan. A special master is someone appointed by a court to carry out some sort of action on its behalf, in this case to make new state legislative and congressional district maps using newly available census data. While Virginia will continue to have 11 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, population shifts within the state mean the boundaries will have to move. Electoral district boundaries are generally decided by state legislatures, but some delegate the task to other bodies. In Virginia, state voters approved an amendment to the state constitution last year empowering the Virginia Redistricting Commission to do it. But this year, the 16-member commission got bogged down in partisan disagreements and was unable to finalize …


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