The Loudoun County Board of Supervisors has formally approved the county’s new local election districts.
The vote, taken unanimously and without discussion Tuesday, capped off a year of effort that began at a meeting last June when supervisors voted to stick with eight districts and one chair-at-large, keeping the board at nine members, and to set Loudoun’s guidelines for how new districts would be drawn. The county government solicited proposals from the public with an online mapping tool, but supervisors ultimately build the new districts on a map devised between Supervisors Michael R. Turner (D-Ashburn) and Matthew F. Letourneau (R-Dulles).
The new districts satisfy a requirement that, as of the 2020 census, they have roughly equal populations, but after a final round of edits earlier this year could be out of proportion again before the next election. The new southwestern Little River District—roughly replacing the current Blue Ridge District—is forecasted to be Loudoun’s fastest-growing, echoing the problems with today’s district. The current Blue Ridge District is by far the most populous district in the county, with more than double the population of some other districts.
In drawing the new districts, supervisors sought to keep neighborhoods, towns and communities of interest together. Other than Little River, the new districts will inherit their names from the current districts they replace–Algonkian, Ashburn, Broad Run, Catoctin, Dulles, Leesburg, and Sterling.
Redistricting efforts at every level were also delayed after COVID-19 pandemic-related delays to the 2020 decennial census. But unlike state redistricting, Loudoun’s local electoral maps come well in advance of their next regularly-scheduled election, in 2023.
Based on the 2020 census, the population of each adopted district ranges between 50,468 and 54,881 residents.
The new districts will now go to the Office of the Attorney General for review of compliance with redistricting law; if there is no objection, they will become final.
There remains one more election under the older maps. The Loudoun Circuit Court ordered the county’s Electoral Board to conduct special elections this Nov. 8, 2022, to fill the School Board seats vacated by Beth Barts (Leesburg), who resigned, and Leslee King (Broad Run), who died. Those elections will be held under the existing maps, since they were in effect when the court ordered the special election.