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.

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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