HB 76
Background and procedural information
House Bill 76, which is currently in committee, would amend the North Carolina Constitution to create an Independent Redistricting Committee. This committee would be responsible for redistricting after each decennial census. If this bill passes, it will go onto the ballot as an initiative.

Under the proposed legislation, are single-member districts a requirement or otherwise implied?
No. There is no explicit or implied requirement that single-member districts be used. The proposed legislation demands that one-person one-vote principles be adhered to, but does not require districts to be the same size.

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

Yes. Although the Voting Rights Act is not specifically mentioned, the proposed legislation allows demographic data to be used when necessary to comply with federal law.

Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?

The proposed legislation would create an Independent Redistricting Committee with nine members. Two members, one from each major political party, would be appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Three members, no more than two from any political party, would be appointed by the Governor. The remaining four members are appointed, one each, by the following: the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Minority Leader for the House of Representatives, the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, and the Minority Leader of the Senate.

Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?

Under the proposed legislation, can members of the public submit plans?
No. The public has forty-five days after the plan is announced to comment on it and make suggestions. There is no official mechanism by which the public could submit plans, however.

Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?
No. Redistricting is to be done only once after every 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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