HB 3700
Background and Procedural Information

On March 3, 2008 Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor member Bill Hilty introduced Minnesota House Bill 3700 (MN H.B. 3700).  As of June 6, 2008 it has not moved out of committee.  The bill would create an independent redistricting commission responsible for redistricting the Minnesota Legislature and Congress. 

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

Yes.  Single-Member districts are required.

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

Yes.  The commission is required to respect state and federal constitutional and statutory law, including those laws related to the Voting Rights Act and minority representation.   There are no restrictions on the use of voter history information of other political data.

Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?

The commission is composed of retired appellate or district court judges that served in Minnesota and never held a party designated or endorsed position.  The Senate Majority Leader, Senate Minority Leader, House Speaker, and House Minority Leader will each appoint one commissioner.  These four commissioners will appoint a final commissioner who will serve as chair of the commission.  The Commission will present a plan, which cannot be modified, to the Minnesota legislature.  The Legislature may reject the plan and submit it to the commission with listed objections.  If rejected, the commission will submit a new plan, which cannot be modified, to the legislature.  The legislature may reject the plan and submit it to the commission with listed objections.  If this plan is rejected, then the commission will submit a third plan that the legislature may accept, reject, or modify.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?

Yes.  The districts must be created to encourage political competition.  

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

No.  The public may not submit plans, make suggestions, or attend hearings. 

Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?

No.  The bill states, “Once a valid redistricting plan for legislative or congressional districts has been enacted or adopted an used in a state general election, no changes to that plan may be enacted or adopted during the remainder of that decade.”
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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