One of the many reasons why there is so much attention being paid to redistricting efforts this year is because it is the first time in nearly 60 years that decennial census-based redistricting will not have the backing of the original Voting Rights Act. In 2013, the US Supreme Court removed a key piece of the Act, making redistricting efforts and processes entirely controlled by state legislatures and state constitutions. Compounded with voting rights laws shifting at both a state and federal level, the 2021 redistricting work will impact districts and elections for years to come. In February 2021, the Virginia state legislature made history by passing the state’s Voting Rights Act, the first of its kind in the South. This legislation will help ensure equitable voting rights access through future elections and redistricting work.

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