- Associated Press - Saturday, September 19, 2015

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Terry McAuliffe has offered his version of a redrawn congressional map in Virginia.

Among the changes in McAuliffe’s proposal Friday, The Richmond Times-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1V1zUX7) reports it would drop the majority black voting-age population in the 3rd District to 41.9 percent and substantially alter the 4th District.

Democrats claim in two federal lawsuits that the General Assembly illegally packed black voters into the 3rd District and 12 state House districts when it redrew boundaries in 2011.

Earlier this month a nonprofit group, OneVirginia2021, backed a third lawsuit filed on behalf of several Virginians in Richmond Circuit Court asking that 11 House and Senate districts be redrawn because they are not compact, which state law requires. The districts are currently held by both Republicans and Democrats.

A federal panel of judges had ordered lawmakers to come up with a new congressional map by Sept. 1. But lawmakers punted and the judges have been moving toward drawing a new map themselves.

A brief filed by McAuliffe’s counsel Friday said the governor’s plan “has the effect of creating two districts, not just one, in which African-American voters are able to elect a candidate of their choice, in both” the 3rd and 4th districts.

Meanwhile, proposals offered by lawyers representing Virginia congressional Republicans would maintain the black majority in the 3rd District.

The 3rd District has had a black majority since 1991. U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott, the state’s only black congressman, has represented the district since 1993 and has never faced a serious challenge. With the current boundaries in place in 2012, he won with 81 percent of the vote. Scott is one of only three Democrats in Virginia’s 11-member congressional delegation.

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Information from: Richmond Times-Dispatch, http://www.timesdispatch.com

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