HB 1070
Background and Procedural Information

On January 9, 2008 Virginia Democratic Delegate Bob Brink introduced Virginia House Bill 1070 (VA H.B. 1070).  As of June 6, 2008 the bill was left in the Committee Privileges and Elections.  This bill would create a seven-person commission whose responsibility would be to create a redistricting plan for the Virginia General Assembly and Congressional election districts.  This plan would be submitted to the General Assembly who would have authority to amend, ignore, or accept the commission’s plan.   

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

No.  There are no stated guidelines that the commission is required to use.  

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

No.  There is no requirement for Voting Rights Act compliance or restrictions preventing the commission from using voter history information.

Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?

The governor will select one candidate from four pools of three nominees.  The majority and minority leaders of the two houses will each nominate the three candidates for one pool.  The governor will then nominate one commissioner who is a member of a political party that garnered at least 25% of the vote in the most recent gubernatorial election.  The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court will then appoint a Special Master who will also serve as chairman.  The Special Master must be a current state legislator.
Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?

No.  There is no provision for competitive districts.  

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

No.  Members of the public may not submit plans, comments, or any other information to the commission.  

Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?

Yes.  The commission can meet at any time.  
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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