Background and Procedural Information

Assemblymembers Mike Villines and Anthony Adams introduced California Assembly Constitutional Amendment 4.  As of June 4, 2008 the proposed amendment is currently stalled in the Assembly.   

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

Single-member districts are a requirement for the California Assembly, Senate, Board of Equalization, and Congress.   

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

The proposed commission would only use voter history information only for purposes of complying with the Voting Rights Act.

Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?

The Commission would consist of eleven members.  Four members each would be registered with the largest and second largest political party while three would not be registered with either of those parties.  The Secretary of State would select the eleven acting and alternate commissioners by randomly selecting applicants from a combined active voter list compiled by the election officials from each county in California.  The Secretary of State would ask each potential Commissioner if they would like to serve as commissioner until the twenty-two active and alternate spots were filled.  After the Commission has created its final plan the voters of California must pass it in the same manner as they would a referendum.
Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?

Priorities of the Commission are ranked in level of importance from one to eight.  The eighth priority is for competitive districts.  

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

Yes.  Members of the public may offer a complete or partial proposed redistricting plan, written comments, or oral testimony.

Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?

It does not strictly forbid mid-decade redistricting, although there are no provisions for Commission action after it submits the final redistricting plan.  
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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