New Hampshire Redistricting Watch
Background and procedural information
HB 49 was introduced on by Rep. Weed. The bill would have amended the current statutory provisions for redistricting and create an independent redistricting commission. It ultimately failed.

Under the proposed legislation, are single-member districts a requirement or otherwise implied?
No. While districts are required to have a population nearly equal to the population of an ideal district, the ideal number is created by divided the population of the state by the number of districts to be created. However, Part 2, Article 26 of the state constitution, which is unaltered by the proposed legislation, requires single-member districts for senators. Multi-member districts are constitutional for the general assembly.

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

Maybe. In establishing districts, no use shall be made of any of the following data: addresses of incumbent legislators, political affiliations of registered voters, previous election results, demographic information, other than population head counts, except as required by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?

The 7-member commission would have 2 members appointed by the governor, and 1 member appointed by each of the following officials: the chief justice of the supreme court, the speaker of the house, the house minority leader, the president of the senate, and the senate minority leader. There are no requirements related to political affiliation, but no more than 4 can come from the same congressional district.

Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?

Under the proposed legislation, can members of the public submit plans?
Possibly. There is no specific prohibition on plans submitted by the public, but there is also no express allowance for them.

Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?

No. Plans can only be submitted to the legislature in years ending in 1.

*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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