HB 376
Background and Procedural Information

House Bill 376 was introduced on January 31, 2008 by Republican Representative Rebecca Chavez-Houck.  The legislation establishes an independent, bipartisan redistricting commission.  

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

Yes. The legislation explicitly states that the redistricting plan must divide the state into single-member districts for each congressional, state house, state senate, and state school board district.  

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


Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?

Under the legislation there are 9 commissioners. Two commissioners are to be appointed by the President of the Senate, 2 by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, 2 by the leader of the minority party in the Senate, and 2 by the leader of the minority party in the House of Representatives. The 8 appointed commissioners then select 2 vice chairs, who then proceed to select the ninth commissioner, which is to become the chair of the commission. Furthermore, each commissioner must be at least 25-years of age, a citizen of the United States, and a resident of the State of Utah for at least 3 consecutive years prior to appointment.

Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?

Yes. The legislation provides that districts should promote competitiveness and partisan fairness, as long as doing so would not contradict the other goals of the legislation.  

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

Within 14 days of the commission issuing a draft of its redistricting plan, it must hold a series of 7 public hearings.  During the public hearings, members of the public are allowed to submit written comments regarding the redistricting plan.  

Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?

No. The legislation requires that redistricting shall only occur every 10 years after the decennial census, or as needed resulting from a change in the number of congressional or legislative seats for reasons other than the decennial census.   
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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