HB 1937
Background and procedural information
House Bill HB 1937 would enact a statute that redefines how and when congressional and legislative districts are drawn, and creates an advisory commission for redistricting. This commission does not actually create redistricting plans. Plans are to be created by the Legislative Services Bureau, who may submit written requests for advice from the commission if they need to make a redistricting decision that is not clearly answerable by the guidelines laid forth. The bill is currently in committee.

Under the proposed legislation, are single-member districts a requirement or otherwise implied?
Yes. Although the bill does not explicitly state that single-member districts are required, it does state that each district shall elect a senator. In addition, representative districts must nest inside of senate districts, which could create difficulty in creating single-member districts.

Does the proposed legislation provide for Voting Rights Act compliance (e.g. can the commission use voter history information)?
Yes. The bill requires the redistricting plan to follow all federal laws, although political data may not be used.

Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?
The commission is comprised of five members. The first four members are appointed, one each, by the Majority and Minority Leaders of the Senate and the Majority and Minority Leaders of the House of Representatives. These four members must then, by a vote of at least three, appoint the fifth member who will serve as chairperson.

Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?


Under the proposed legislation, can members of the public submit plans?
No. There is no mechanism through which the public can submit plans.

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