Redistricting in City of Fredericksburg
Redistricting Process Completed
On April 12, the state Attorney General’s office found there was “no reason to object to Fredericksburg’s proposed changes to its voting practices.” It provided a letter that “serves as the Attorney General’s certification of not objection to the proposed changes.”
This is the final step in the redistricting process that changes the boundaries of the City’s four wards. This process started in August 2021, with the receipt of the April 2020 U.S. Census data. The culmination was City Council’s adoption of ward boundaries in March 2022 based on a citizen’s suggested map.
These will be the ward boundaries for the 2023 City Council and City School Board elections. These will also be the boundaries of the voting precincts for the primary election in June 2022 and general election in November 2022.
The Fredericksburg City Council is comprised of seven members: a mayor, two members elected ‘at-large’ from the entire City, and four members elected from four distinct geographic areas known as 'Wards.' The Fredericksburg School Board has six members: two elected at-large and four elected from the same wards.
A redistricting process of the City's wards occurs every 10 years following the United States Census and is governed by state law. By making sure each ward has approximately the same number of people, redistricting ensures residents have fair representation on City Council and the City School Board. Based on the 2020 Census, each of the four wards is to have no more than 7,408 nor fewer than 6,702 people. This process also determines where residents vote. This process started after the 2020 Census data was released in August 2021. For more detail, read: Redistricting 2021 Memorandum (PDF), July 29, 2021
Public Meetings to discuss the process and options for Ward district boundaries were held on:
November 9 - City Council Work Session
November 16 - Public Information Meeting View Redistricting Presentation, November 15, 2021 (PDF)
November 23 - City Council Formal Public Hearing View Redistricting Presentation, November 23, 2021 (PDF)
December 7 - Public Information Meeting
December 14 - City Council Public Meeting View Agenda Item for Council
January 11 - City Council Public Meeting View Agenda Item
On January 11, Council approved a Plan that would, because of the number of register voters in the Ward 3, would require a second voting precinct in that Ward. Several Council members expressed concern about the cost of a second precinct. Subsequently, census blocks were identified that if shifted from Ward 3 back to Ward 1, would reduce the number of registered voters and eliminate the need for a second Ward 3 precinct, without dividing a community interest.
This revised map, labeled modified map (version 2) was the subject of a public hearing before City Council on February 8. Proposed 2nd read map 2-18-22 (PDF)
February 8 - City Council Formal Public Hearing: 7:30pm in City Hall, Council Chambers, 715 Princess Anne Street. View Agenda item
The City Council unanimously approved the redrawing of the boundaries of the four wards on February 8, 2022.
March 8 - City Council Public Meeting: 7:30pm in City Hall, Council Chambers, 715 Princess Anne Street. View Council Item
A slight change was determined needed to the February 8 ward boundaries, due to an update in the number of registered voters in Ward 3. City Council approved on first read this updated Ward map.
March 22 – City Council Public Meeting: 7:30pm in City Hall, Council Chambers, 715 Princess Anne Street. View Council Agenda
A public notice was published for the March 22 Council meeting on this further adjusted map for final (or ‘second read’) action. The new ward map will be in effect for the next City Council and School Board elections in 2023.
This approved Redistricting Plan is being submitted to the Office of the Attorney General for Certification of No Objection. It will become effective once that certification is received, anticipated by the end of April.
Local Redistricting Process
The boundaries of the City’s election wards need to be changed to correct an imbalance of ward populations shown in the 2020 US Census. City staff has worked with Kevin Byrnes of Regional Decision Systems, L.L.C., to provide City Council with options to re-draw the boundaries of the City’s 4 Council wards to comply with State law and local ordinance. Once approved the plan will be submitted for review by the Virginia Attorney General. The following memorandum details the current wards, alternate scenarios and data to assist Council members weigh the redistricting alternatives. Fredericksburg City Ward Redistricting Memorandum (PDF), November 5, 2021.