Like many jurisdictions across the country, the District of Columbia is redistricting this year, to make sure its 8 wards continue to have roughly equal populations following the 2010 Census. This means Ward 2 (downtown) has to get smaller, Wards 7 and 8 (east of the river) have to get larger, and Ward 6 (located between Wards 2 and 7&8) has to shift over.
DC Councilmembers are elected to 4-year terms, with half of the Council elected every 2 years. Thus, Council terms are staggered, much like the U.S. Senate (but with only 2 classes, not 3).
This combination of redistricting and staggering is unusual. For example, the U.S. Senate is staggered, but is (unfortunately) not subject to redistricting. Conversely, the U.S. House is redistricted every 10 years, but all representatives are elected at the same time. (Any special House elections between now and November 2012 will be based on the old 2000 Census districts, even in states that have completed redistricting.) Many state legislatures operate the same way.
This unusual combination leads to some strange consequences, which I haven't heard anyone else discuss. Take, as an example, Wards 2 and 6, since they are mutually exchanging territory. Ward 2 is currently represented by Jack Evans, who was last elected in 2008. Ward 6 is represented by Tommy Wells, last elected in 2010. This means that the people who live in the part of Ward 6 that is being transferred to Ward 2 got to vote for (or against) Wells in 2010, and then will vote again in the Ward 2 election in 2012. Thus, for the 2013-14 term, they will be represented by two different ward-based councilmembers: Wells (from Ward 6) and the councilmember from Ward 2. The people who live in the part of Ward 2 that is being transferred to Ward 6 have the opposite situation: they didn't vote in 2010, and they won't be able to vote in 2012 either. Thus, from 2013-14, they will not have had the opportunity to vote for any current members of the Council (except the at-large councilmembers).
Does this violate the principle of "one person, one vote"? Would the voters in these neighborhoods (Mt. Vernon Square and Shaw) have standing to bring a lawsuit? Are there other jurisdictions outside DC with the same issue?