Vermont

State website: Main site, Legislative Apportionment Board (advisory commission)
2010-cycle districts: State Senate, State House  « NEW 
2000-cycle districts: State Senate, State House
Primary governing law: Vt. Const. ch. 11, §§ 13, 18; 17 Vt. Stat. §§ 1901-1909

The Latest

The advisory commission responsible for redistricting approved final proposed state legislative plans. After considering these drafts, on February 23, 2012, the state legislature passed H 629 (initial state House lines), which was signed on February 28. On April 30, the state legislature then passed H 789 (final state House and Senate lines), which was signed on May 1.

  • Institution

    Redistricting political control:

    Governor State Senate State House
    Congressional lines n/a
    State legislative lines D 22 D, 8 R 95 D, 48 R
    2000 cong. lines n/a
    2000 state lines D 16 D, 13 R 62 D, 82 R

    Vermont has only one congressional district.

    Vermont's state legislative lines are drawn by the state legislature, as a regular statute, subject to gubernatorial veto.

    Since 1965, Vermont statutes have provided for a 7-member advisory commission (the Vermont Apportionment Board) to assist this process. The Governor chooses one commissioner from each political party with at least 3 state legislators for six of the previous ten years (Democrats, Republicans, and Progressives), each of those parties' state committee chair chooses an additional commissioner, and the Chief Justice of the state Supreme Court chooses a special master to be chair. No commissioner may be a member or employee of the state legislature. Current members are here. [17 Vt. Stat. § 1904] This commission recommends state legislative plans to the legislature, which may adopt, modify, or ignore the commission's proposals. The legislature may also alter this commission by statute.

    The Vermont Supreme Court has original and exclusive jurisdiction to challenge a redistricting plan in state court; the legislature may alter this provision by statute. [17 Vt. Stat. § 1909]


  • Timing

    Census data were delivered to Vermont on February 10, 2011.

    The advisory commission must produce a proposed plan by July 1, 2011; towns and cities may make suggestions with respect to internal splits until August 1, 2011, and the advisory commission must produce a final recommended plan by August 15, 2011. The above deadlines may all be amended by statute. [17 Vt. Stat. §§ 1905-1907]

    Once the commission produces a suggested plan, the legislature may then adopt, modify, or ignore the commission's proposal. State law provides that final plans should be passed during the biennial session after the census. The 2011 session began on January 5, 2011, and ended May 31, 2011; the 2012 session will begin on January 4, 2012. Candidates must file for state legislative primary elections by June 14, 2012. [17 Vt. Stat. § 2356]

    Vermont statutes tie the drawing of state legislative lines to the Census, and might therefore be construed to prohibit redrawing lines mid-decade, though these ties may also be altered by statute. [17 Vt. Stat. §§ 1903, 1907]


  • Public input

    The advisory commission held several public hearings; the schedule and minutes of past meetings are available here. Feedback on the commission's draft plans is available here.


  • Criteria

    Like all states, Vermont must comply with constitutional equal population requirements and with section 2 of the Voting Rights Act.

    Vermont law further requires that state legislative districts be, "insofar as practicable," contiguous and geographically compact, and that they adhere to county and other political subdivision boundaries, except where necessary to comply with other legal requirements. By statute, Vermont districts should also recognize and maintain "patterns of geography, social interaction, trade, political ties, and common interests." Legislative districts may also be drawn as multimember districts. [Vt. Const. ch. 11, §§ 13, 18; 17 Vt. Stat. §§ 1891a, 1903, 1906a]


  • 2000 cycle

    In the 2000 redistricting cycle, Vermont's legislature passed a state legislative plan that was signed on June 27, 2002. The plan was challenged in state court, and upheld. [In re Apportionment of Towns of Woodbury and Worcester, 861 A.2d 1117 (Vt. 2004)]

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