Background and procedural information
House Joint Resolution 1 seeks to amend the Ohio Constitution to create a seven person redistricting commission. The bill is currently in committee.

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

Yes. The bill specifically requires all Congressional and legislative districts to be single-member.

Does the proposed legislation provide for Voting Rights Act compliance (e.g. can the commission use voter history information)?

Yes. The bill requires that the redistricting commission comply with all federal laws, including but not limited to laws protecting minority voting rights.

Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?

The commission is comprised of seven members. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, the President of the Senate, and the Minority Leader of the Senate each appoint one member. Those four members convene and must unanimously appoint the remaining three members. If the four members cannot unanimously agree on one or more of the appointed seats, each member must submit the name of a proposed appointee to the Governor, who must randomly choose a name. The Governor must repeat this process for each seat to be filled.

Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?
Yes. The bill favors competitive districts to the extent that they do not impede other redistricting standards laid forth.

Under the proposed legislation, can members of the public submit plans?
No. There is no mechanism created by which the public may submit plans, however, the bill does require all commission meetings to be open to the public.

Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?

No. Redistricting is only to be done in years ending in “one,” unless a court finds a plan to be illegal.
June 18th 2006
Where politicians dare to tread
San Francisco Chronicle

The San Francisco Chronicle editorial board endorses the British Columbia Citizens Assembly approach to electoral reform, specifically noting the potential for proportional representation in California.

March 21st 2006
Real redistricting reform is proportional representation
San Francisco Examiner

Rob Dickinson of Californians for Electoral Reform writes a commentary on how recent proposals to make the redistricting process fairer miss the mark. For real progress in how we elect our representatives, we need to turn to proportional voting.

March 1st 2006
Tanner redistricting bill gains Senate sponsor
The Hill

Senator Tim Johnson introduced a companion bill to Rep. John Tanner's federal redistricting reform legislation. The identical bills, supported by FairVote, would set up state commissions to handle redistricting only once a decade.

December 20th 2005
Overhaul of state electoral system sought

Following on the heels of the defeat of redistricting reform in California, Republican and Democratic legislators plan on introducing legislation to create a citizens assembly for election reform and discuss proportional voting for the state.

December 11th 2005
A Dramatic Idea for Election Reform
New York Times

A Times reader highlights the fundamental weakness of any single-member district-based system: gerrymandering is unavoidable.

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