West Virginia enacts new state legislative district maps

West Virginia enacted new state legislative districts on Oct. 22, 2021, when Gov. Jim Justice (R) signed map proposals approved by both legislative chambers into law. The maps will take effect for West Virginia’s 2022 state legislative elections.

On Sept. 30, 2021, the House Redistricting Committee released a single-member district map proposal for the West Virginia House of Delegates. The proposal passed the House on Oct. 13 in a 79-20 vote and passed the Senate on Oct. 18 in a 28-5 vote.

On Oct. 5, the Senate Redistricting Committee released five map proposals for West Virginia’s State Senate districts. On Oct. 11, 2021, the Senate Redistricting Committee voted to recommend a senate map proposed by Sen. Charles S. Trump IV (R) to the full Senate. The Senate approved a map that combined aspects of previous proposals in a 31-2 vote on October 19. The Hosue approved the map 72-19.

“The Joint Committee on Redistricting worked very hard all summer and fall to craft a plan that will give every West Virginian an equal voice in the House of Delegates. For the first time in decades, West Virginia will have 100 single-member House districts,” said House Speaker Roger Hanshaw (R) of the House map. Del. Mike Pushkin (D) said, “What we have before us is a gerrymandered mess. If your goal is to protect political power well into the future, it was done quite well.”

On the Senate map, Sen. Charles S. Trump IV (R) said, “This amendment I believe reconciles and harmonizes some of the issues that were points of contention,” Trump said in a statement. “This is the product of conversations and compromises over a long period of time by a great number of people.” “There is a faction within the Republican Party that is worried about their reelection when they shouldn’t be. They should worry about how the state works and how to make it work,” said Sen. Mike Romano (D).

As of Oct. 25, 2021, seven states have adopted new state legislative maps, one state’s legislative map is awaiting approval by the state supreme court, one state enacted new state legislative maps based on Census estimates which will be revised in an upcoming special session, and 41 states have not yet adopted new state legislative maps.

Nationwide, legislative redistricting has been completed for 273 of 1,972 state Senate seats (13.8%) and 628 of 5,411 state House seats (11.6%).