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.  
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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