HB 2420
Background and Procedural Information

House Bill 2420
was introduced on May 7, 2008 by Democrat Steve Samuelson.  The proposed legislation provides for reapportionment of Pennsylvania legislative and congressional districts.  

Under the proposed legislation, are single-member districts a requirement or otherwise implied?

The legislation implies single-member districts of equal population.  

Does the proposed legislation provide for Voting Rights Act compliance (e.g. can the commission use voter history information)?

Yes. The legislation states that previous election results, political affiliations of registered voters, and the addresses of incumbent legislators or congressmen may not be considered during the redistricting process.

Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?

There are 5 members in the temporary commission, 4 of which are the majority and minority leaders of both the Senate and the House of Representatives, or deputies appointed by each of them. The 4 members then selects the fifth member, who serves as chairman of the commission. If the 4 members fail to select the fifth member, a majority of the entire membership of the Supreme Court will appoint the chairman.
Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?

The legislation is silent on competitive districts; however, it does state that party affiliation and incumbency may not be considered.  

Under the proposed legislation, can members of the public submit plans?

Although the legislation does not permit members of the public to submit plans, it does require a minimum of 5 public hearings to be held regarding the proposed plan at different regions throughout the state.  

Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?

No. The legislation provides for redistricting to follow after each federal decennial census.  
May 14th 2008
Is the House of Representatives Too Small?

The U.S. House of Representatives has been at 435 members since 1911, when the country was a third of its current population. Research suggests that districts may now be getting too big for adequate representation.

November 15th 2006
Redistricting Reconsidered
Washington Post

Citing FairVote's Dubious Democracy 2006, an editorial notes that non-competition in U.S. House races has causes more fundamental than gerrymandering.

November 1st 2006
Lines of demarcation
Dallas-Fort Worth Star-Telegram

FairVote research cited in this commentary on lopsided redistricting, uncompetitive districts and the party primary battles they inspire.

October 30th 2006
Electile Dysfunction?
News Release Wire

Former FairVote President Matthew Cossolotto calls for a range of reforms, highlighting two problems of American democracy: "counting the votes" and "making votes count."

August 19th 2006
Eliminate districts
Contra Costa Times

CA resident calls for proportional voting in one statewide district as a congressional redistricting reform.

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