SB 45Background and procedural information
SB 45 renames the commission established to handle redistricting in New Hampshire and increases its membership from five to seven.
The bill failed to pass house on January 16, 2008.
Under the proposed legislation, are single-member districts a requirement or otherwise implied?
The new legislation is neutral as to single-member districts, however the statute that the new legislation amends does requires single-member districts of approximately equal population.
Does the proposed legislation provide for Voting Rights Act compliance (e.g. can the commission use voter history information)?
The new legislation does not mention Voting Rights Act compliance, but the statute that will be amended by the legislation does require districting to be done in a way that does not dilute minority voting strength. It states that in drawing districts, demographic data may not be used except as required by the federal Constitution or laws.
Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?
The proposed legislation increases the number of members on the commission to seven. The Speaker of the House of Representatives of New Hampshire, the President of the Senate of New Hampshire, and the Governor of New Hampshire, each appoint two people—one from each of the two major political parties. The seventh member must be an attorney in good standing that is licensed in New Hampshire that is not a lobbyist and has not or will not hold an elected office within one year of serving on the counsel. This final member is appointed by the New Hampshire Supreme Court.
Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?
Under the proposed legislation, can members of the public submit plans?
No. Public hearings are held to gain public input before the districts are drawn, but there is no real mechanism for members of the public to submit their own independent plans.
Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?
No. Redistricting may only be one in years ending in one.
*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.