HJR 45
Background and Procedural Information

H.J.R. 45 was introduced on March 12, 2008 by Democrat Representative Simpson. One of the goals of the legislation is to modify congressional and legislative apportionment and districting.

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

Yes. Under the legislation, districts are to be divided into equally proportioned single-member districts.  

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

Yes. The legislation impliedly provides for Voting Rights Act compliance by stating that districts shall be compact, contiguous, not use voter history data, and shall comply with federal law.  

Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?

The legislation is unclear on the formation of the redistricting commission, however, the commission consists of either eight electors or nine members, four of whom are selected by the state organizations of each of the two political parties whose candidates for governor received the highest vote at the last general election at which a governor was elected. The legislation also provides that two members shall be selected by the majority leader of the legislature, two members by the minority leader of the legislature, and the last member shall be selected by the other eight commissioners.  Additionally, the Secretary of State of Michigan shall serve as the secretary of the commission.
Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?

Although not specifically provided for, the legislation states that districts may not favor a particular political party or incumbent legislator.  

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

No, however, the commission may hold public hearings on the redistricting plans, and the public has at least 30-days in which it can comment on the plan prior to its adoption.  

Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?

No. The legislation states that the federal decennial census must be used for reapportionment.

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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