Background and procedural information
State Representative Glenn Anderson (D-18th) proposed House Joint Resolution K to the Michigan State Legislature on May 24, 2005. The proposed resolution would amend the current state constitution and create an independent redistricting committee. The bill has been referred to the House Oversight, Elections and Ethics Committee in the state legislature.

Under the proposed legislation are single-member districts a requirement or otherwise implied?
Yes. The proposed amendments to the state constitution require both the House of Representatives and the Senate to be elected to single-member districts.

Does the proposed legislation provide for Voting Rights Act compliance (e.g. can the commission use voter history information)?
Yes. The proposal prohibits the use drawing of districts for the purpose of diluting the voting strength of a community of interest, and it also requires the districts to comply with federal law (which includes the Voting Rights Act). However, the commission is not allowed to use past election results, voting history, or incumbent address in drawing the districts.

Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?
The commission will consist of nine members. Four members will be selected by the state organizations of the two parties whose candidates received the most votes in the last gubernatorial election. The Speaker of the House, the minority leader of the House, the Senate majority leader and the Senate minority leader each choose one member and these eight members would collectively choose the ninth member.

Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?

Under the proposed legislation, can members of the public submit plans?
Maybe. The commission is required to hold public hearings on the proposed districts and there is no ban on public proposals.

Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?
No. The commission must finish its plan no later than November 1 following the national 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.

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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