HJR 28
Background and Procedural Information

On December 14, 2007 Virginia Democratic Representative Brian Moran introduced Virginia House Joint Resolution 28 (VA H.J.R. 28).  As of June 11, 2008 it is stalled in a House Committee.  It authorized a five-person independent redistricting commission to create new districts for Virginia legislative and congressional districts.   

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

Yes.  Single-member districts are a requirement.   

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

No.  The commission is not required to provide for Voting Rights Act compliance.  Also the commission is not restricted from using any voter history information.

Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?

The legislative leaders of the two largest political parties present in both the House of Delegates and Senate would each nominate a pool of three candidates for one commission position.  The Chief Justice of the Virginia Supreme Court would choose one nominee from each pool to form the first four commissioners.  These four commissioners would, with at least three positive votes, choose a fifth and final commissioner to serve as chairperson.  The Chairperson must not be affiliated with either of the two largest political parties in the state.  If the Commission cannot develop a plan then the Virginia Supreme Court will choose from among the plans that are supported by the different commission members.
 
Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?

No.  The Commissions is not instructed to craft competitive districts.   

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

No.  Members of the public may not submit plans, question, or attend public forums to discuss the redistricting plans.   

Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?

No.  Redistricting is only allowed in years ending in one.   
    
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 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.

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.

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