HB 1070
Background and Procedural Information

On January 9, 2008 Virginia Democratic Delegate Bob Brink introduced Virginia House Bill 1070 (VA H.B. 1070).  As of June 6, 2008 the bill was left in the Committee Privileges and Elections.  This bill would create a seven-person commission whose responsibility would be to create a redistricting plan for the Virginia General Assembly and Congressional election districts.  This plan would be submitted to the General Assembly who would have authority to amend, ignore, or accept the commission’s plan.   

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

No.  There are no stated guidelines that the commission is required to use.  

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

No.  There is no requirement for Voting Rights Act compliance or restrictions preventing the commission from using voter history information.

Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?

The governor will select one candidate from four pools of three nominees.  The majority and minority leaders of the two houses will each nominate the three candidates for one pool.  The governor will then nominate one commissioner who is a member of a political party that garnered at least 25% of the vote in the most recent gubernatorial election.  The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court will then appoint a Special Master who will also serve as chairman.  The Special Master must be a current state legislator.
Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?

No.  There is no provision for competitive districts.  

Under the proposed legislation, can members of the public submit plans?

No.  Members of the public may not submit plans, comments, or any other information to the commission.  

Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?

Yes.  The commission can meet at any time.  
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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