RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Virginia House Speaker Kirk Cox is asking the Eastern District Court to move the date for next year’s primary election from June to September 10.
This is while the U.S. Supreme Court is considering the GOP's appeal of a federal court ruling that 11 house districts be redrawn because black voters were packed into some districts.
Kirk said the Supreme Court is expected to hear their case in February, and he wants to pause the requirement that new maps be drawn in the meantime.
The drawing of maps was turned over to the courts after Republicans and Democrats couldn't agree on how to do it.
Kirk said uncertainty about the districts means uncertainty for candidates running for office and where voters should vote. So he's suggesting moving the date to qualify for the ballot to July 17 and the primary to Sept. 10.
Which would leave two months to campaign before the general election when all 100 House of Delegate seats will be up for grabs.
“You could easily foresee a scenario where a nomination contest is completely invalidated by the Supreme Court’s decision, or a scenario where a candidate declares in one district only to find out later that they have been moved into another district. Election and party officials could be forced to spend hours of manpower and significant resources to redo paperwork and official election actions. Tens of thousands of voters will not know where they should register or vote, or even which candidates they will have to choose from,” said Cox.