SB 102Background and procedural information:
Delaware’s Senate Bill 102 was introduced 5/10/07 by Democratic Senator Patricia Blevins as an act to amend Title 29 of the Delaware Code Relating to the Reapportionment of the General Assembly. The bill would create an independent redistricting commission for State Senate and the House of Representatives districts.
Under the proposed legislation, are single-member districts a requirement or otherwise implied?
Single-member districts are implied, as the legislation states that no redistricting plan may alter the composition of the General Assembly or provide for a different number of legislative districts than that established by the General Assembly.
Does the proposed legislation provide for Voting Rights Act compliance (i.e. can the commission use voter history information)?
No, but the legislation does not prevent the commission from considering voter history information or other demographics while redistricting.
Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?
Under Senate Bill 102, an eleven member independent redistricting commission is formed by the appointment of ten members, one from each county and the City of Wilmington. No member of the commission shall hold elected office or be a registered lobbyist, nor may any officer of a state political party office serve on the Commission.
Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?
Under the proposed legislation, can members of the public submit plans?
While the bill does not explicitly provide that members of the public can submit plans, there will be four public hearings, one hearing held in each county and one in the City of Wilmington to review the preliminary redistricting plans. Each hearing will be open to the public and allow for questions and comments from the public, and the public must be given at least seven days notice before each hearing.
Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?
Yes, the bill provides that the Independent Redistricting Commission may be recalled to work by the General Assembly if the need arises for an interim redistricting.
*Note: A proposal may be neutral on whether or not to favor competitive districts for a number of reasons, including that such a requirement may be thought to conflict with other criteria, potentially create other legal issues, or is assumed to flow from the new process itself -- or it might merely not be a priority for the legislative sponsors. FairVote believes that some form of proportional voting is needed to ensure maximum competitiveness for each seat and to ensure meaningful choices for all voters.