HB 376
Background and Procedural Information

House Bill 376 was introduced on January 31, 2008 by Republican Representative Rebecca Chavez-Houck.  The legislation establishes an independent, bipartisan redistricting commission.  

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

Yes. The legislation explicitly states that the redistricting plan must divide the state into single-member districts for each congressional, state house, state senate, and state school board district.  

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


Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?

Under the legislation there are 9 commissioners. Two commissioners are to be appointed by the President of the Senate, 2 by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, 2 by the leader of the minority party in the Senate, and 2 by the leader of the minority party in the House of Representatives. The 8 appointed commissioners then select 2 vice chairs, who then proceed to select the ninth commissioner, which is to become the chair of the commission. Furthermore, each commissioner must be at least 25-years of age, a citizen of the United States, and a resident of the State of Utah for at least 3 consecutive years prior to appointment.

Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?

Yes. The legislation provides that districts should promote competitiveness and partisan fairness, as long as doing so would not contradict the other goals of the legislation.  

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

Within 14 days of the commission issuing a draft of its redistricting plan, it must hold a series of 7 public hearings.  During the public hearings, members of the public are allowed to submit written comments regarding the redistricting plan.  

Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?

No. The legislation requires that redistricting shall only occur every 10 years after the decennial census, or as needed resulting from a change in the number of congressional or legislative seats for reasons other than the decennial census.   
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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