Senate Joint Resolution 9
Background and procedural information
Senate Joint Resolution 9, which would strike out the current Article 4 and create a new Article 17 to the Indiana constitution, was introduced on 1/11/05 by Senator Vi Simpson, a Democrat from Bloomington, and was referred to the committee on elections and civic affairs.

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

No. While districts must have equal population, there is no requirement that they be single-member, and the bill does not state how many districts must be drawn.

Does the proposed legislation provide for Voting Rights Act compliance (e.g. can the commission use voter history information)?
Yes. While party registration and voting history data may not be used in drawing maps, that data may be used to test a map for compliance with federal law relating to voting rights.

Under the proposed legislation, what is the makeup of the commission and how is it formed?

The bill proposes a 5-member commission. The pool of potential candidates, who must apply by submitting an application to the Judicial Nominating Commission, would consist of 10 Democrats, 10 Republicans, and 5 nominees who are neither Democrats nor Republicans. The two house and senate leaders from each party would each appoint a member. The four appointed members must select the fifth member, who must be chosen from the group of candidates not affiliated with either the Democrats or the Republicans. This member also serves as the chair.

Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?

Competitive districts are favored where practicable, and not in contravention of other stated goals of redistricting. However, the commission is not allowed to consider party registration and voting history data, so it is unclear how the commission would be able to draw a competitive district.

Under the proposed legislation, can members of the public submit plans?
Possibly. While all meetings of the commission would be open to the public, there is neither an express prohibition nor allowance of public submittal of plans.

Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?

No. The commission is only allowed to meet in a year ending in one, unless it is otherwise directed by a court.

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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