Oregon Redistricting 2000

Oregon’s Political Lineup


1991

2001

Governor

D

D

State Senate

20D, 10R

16R, 14D

State House

32D, 28R

33R, 27D

US Senators

2R

1D, 1R

US Reps

4D, 1R

4D, 1R

 

Redistricting Deadline

There is no congressional deadline. Since the legislature missed the original July 1 deadline, the Secretary of State released a final plan on August 15, 2001.

Who’s in Charge of Redistricting?

The legislature is responsible for both plans. A joint interim committee was set up for the last round of redistricting, but in 2001, the house and senate will develop separate redistricting plans. The house rules committee will act as the interim committee; the senate has not made plans as of yet. The secretary of state is responsible for a state legislative plan if the legislature fails to meet its deadline. The governor has veto power over both plans.

Districting Principles 

Principle

Congressional

State Legis.

Compactness

 

 

Contiguity

+

+

Political subdivisions

+ 

+ 

Communities of interest

+ 

+ 

Cores of prior districts

  

  

Protect incumbents

-

-

VRA 5

+

+

+ = required                - = prohibited

Public Access

Statewide public hearings are required. The public may propose plans of their own or present testimony. Also, public terminals are available in the "committee services" office at the capital for the public to use in drawing their own proposed maps.The legislature had a page on redistricting; but since it failed to make plans by July 1, the Secretary of State now has a redistricting site with a schedule of hearings, a draft plan, and an area for citizens to make comments.

Political Landscape

Democrats control four of five seats despite having only one safely Democratic seat (the 3rd). Republicans in the legislature may seek to cut into Democrats’ advantage, but the Democrats’ gubernatorial veto power likely will lead to a compromise plan. The Democratic Secretary of State may well craft a state legislative plan.

Legal Issues

The Republican Party of Oregon filed suit in 1992 against the Oregon Secretary of State's court-approved legislative district plan because several incumbent senators were assigned to new districts. As a result of the plan, some voters in these new districts would not be able to vote for their senator for six years. This occurred because half of the Oregon senate had two-year terms, while the other half had four-year terms. The Ninth Circuit dismissed the plaintiffs’ claims noting that voters do not have a First Amendment right to vote on a particular schedule, and temporary dilution of voting power does not violate the 14th amendment.

Irregularly Shaped District
District 5

· Willamette Valley, Pacific Coast
· Swing district that has alternated between Republicans and Democrats
· More than 70% of the district’s residents live in two unpredictable counties (Clackamas and Marion) – relatively high number of independent, swing voters
· 94% white; 1% black; 2% Asian, 5% Hispanic


Contact Information
 Janet Adkins
 Legislative Analyst
 Room 453 State Capitol
 Salem, OR 97310
 503/986-1621
 503/986-1814 Fax
 Janet.K.Adkins@state.or.us