North Carolina Redistricting Watch SB 430
Background and procedural information
Senate Bill SB 430, introduced by Republican John Blust, proposed amending Art. II § 3 of the state constitution and changing the redistricting committee. The proposal failed.

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

No. Although there is no outright ban on multi-member districts, the bill states the commission shall refrain from creating multi-member districts unless the district is drawn to “advance a compelling governmental interest.”

Does the proposed legislation provide for Voting Rights Act compliance (e.g. can the commission use voter history information)?
Yes. The bill prohibits the commission from considering the political affiliation of the voters, voting data from previous elections, and the location of incumbents’ residences, but make an exception for compliance with federal law.

Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?
The nine-member commission will be appointed in the following manner: Two by the Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court (representing two different political parties), three by the governor, with no more than two sharing the same party, two by the Speaker of the House (representing two different political parties) and two by the Senate Pro Tempore (representing two different political parties).

Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?

Under the proposed legislation, can members of the public submit plans?
Possibly. There is no express prohibition, but public submittal is also not expressly allowed. Further, North Carolina currently allows public access to a redistricting computer system, but it is unclear whether the redistricting committees would consider the plans created by the public.

Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?
No. Once established, the districts cannot be redrawn until the next decennial census.

*Note: A proposal may be neutral on whether or not to favor competitive districts for a number of reasons, including that such a requirement may be thought to conflict with other criteria, potentially create other legal issues, or is assumed to flow from the new process itself -- or it might merely not be a priority for the legislative sponsors. FairVote believes that some form of proportional voting is needed to ensure maximum competitiveness for each seat and to ensure meaningful choices for all voters.
November 19th 2005
Redistricting reform: How best to tackle ultra-safe districts
Sacramento Bee

FairVote's Rob Richie argues in commentary running in several newspapers that redistricting reformers must challenge winner-take-all elections.

November 16th 2005
In Canada, regular folks are put to work on reforms
San Jose Mercury News

Steven Hill prescribes a citizens assembly as a solution for achieving consensus on redistricting reform in California.

November 15th 2005
Citizens Must Drive Electoral Reform
Roll Call

Heather Gerken of Harvard Law suggests a citizens assembly as one means to achieve redistricting reform and buy-in from voters.

November 13th 2005
Arnold had the right idea about redistricting
The Herald News

The Herald News cites Fairvote with commentary about the dangers of Gerrmandering and redistricting obstacles.

November 13th 2005
ARNOLD AGONIZES: How the election changed the governor -- and California
San Francisco Chronicle

Article discussing the recent failure of redistricting reform in California and the potential solution in letting the citizens decide through a Citizens Assembly on Election Reform.

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