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.   
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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