House Joint Resolution 41
Background and procedural information
House Joint Resolution 41 proposes to amend the Oregon constitution to establish an independent redistricting committee for the drawing of district lines for the state legislature.

Under the proposed legislation, are single-member districts a requirement or otherwise implied?
No, however the bill does require that there be two representative districts within each senate district. This restriction may mean that districts must be single-member in practice.

Does the proposed legislation provide for Voting Rights Act compliance (e.g. can the commission use voter history information)?
The legislation does not have standards for how to create districts.

Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?
The commission is comprised of five members to be chosen after each decennial census. Four members are appointed by the Supreme Court of Oregon. To be appointed, a person must be a retired state or federal judge who hasn’t held a partisan office, and has been a registered member of the Democratic or Republican parties for at least five years. The Supreme Court must create a list of qualified persons, and choose four at random to be appointed. If more than two people of either party are chosen, that name is thrown out and another is chosen until the four appointees are comprised of two Republicans and two Democrats. The fifth member is appointed by the four members appointed by the Supreme Court.

Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?

Under the proposed legislation, can members of the public submit plans?
No, there is no mechanism that allows the public to submit plans. The commission must hold at least three public hearings across the state, however, in which the public can give their input.

Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?
No. Redistricting may only be done once, the year after the 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.

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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