Virginia voters to select all 140 state legislators Nov. 5
We’re continuing to preview some of the key elections that voters will decide on November 5. The entire Virginia state legislature—40 state Senate and 100 House of Delegates seats—is up for election. Republicans currently hold two-seat majorities in each chamber.
These are the last elections in Virginia before the state government redraws congressional and state legislative districts after the 2020 Census. If Democrats win control of both chambers, they will have a trifecta and full control of Virginia’s government during redistricting. If Republicans retain a majority in at least one chamber, Virginia will remain under divided government. District boundaries drawn by the legislature are subject to veto by Gov. Ralph Northam (D).
The 2019 House of Delegates elections will be the first ones conducted using a remedial map after a federal district court ruled in June 2018 that 11 state legislative districts were an illegal racial gerrymander. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld that decision—in Virginia House of Delegates v. Bethune-Hill—in June 2019. The state Senate elections will be held using district boundaries enacted in April 2011. Those maps were approved at that time by the state Senate 32-5 and signed into law by then-Gov. Bob McDonnell (R).
Republicans have a 21-19 majority in the state Senate. Ballotpedia has designated seven races as battleground elections. Of those, one is currently held by a Democrat and six by Republicans. Northam won 25 of the 40 senate districts during his 2017 gubernatorial election.
Republicans currently have a 51-49 majority in the state House. Democrats flipped 15 seats in the 2017 elections—their largest gains in the chamber since 1899. Ballotpedia has identified 27 battleground races—11 seats held by Democrats and 16 by Republicans.
Twenty-five districts were affected by the redrawing—nine Republican-held seats and 16 Democratic-held seats. Using the 2016 presidential election, the House of Delegates map went from one where 51 districts voted for Hillary Clinton (D) and 49 districts voted for Donald Trump (R) to one where 56 districts voted for Clinton and 44 districts voted for Trump.
Virginia does not allow no-excuse absentee voting or in-person early voting. Voters are required to present photo identification at the polls on Election Day.