North Carolina Redistricting Watch SB 430
Background and procedural information
Senate Bill SB 430, introduced by Republican John Blust, proposed amending Art. II § 3 of the state constitution and changing the redistricting committee. The proposal failed.

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

No. Although there is no outright ban on multi-member districts, the bill states the commission shall refrain from creating multi-member districts unless the district is drawn to “advance a compelling governmental interest.”

Does the proposed legislation provide for Voting Rights Act compliance (e.g. can the commission use voter history information)?
Yes. The bill prohibits the commission from considering the political affiliation of the voters, voting data from previous elections, and the location of incumbents’ residences, but make an exception for compliance with federal law.

Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?
The nine-member commission will be appointed in the following manner: Two by the Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court (representing two different political parties), three by the governor, with no more than two sharing the same party, two by the Speaker of the House (representing two different political parties) and two by the Senate Pro Tempore (representing two different political parties).

Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?

Under the proposed legislation, can members of the public submit plans?
Possibly. There is no express prohibition, but public submittal is also not expressly allowed. Further, North Carolina currently allows public access to a redistricting computer system, but it is unclear whether the redistricting committees would consider the plans created by the public.

Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?
No. Once established, the districts cannot be redrawn until the next decennial census.

*Note: A proposal may be neutral on whether or not to favor competitive districts for a number of reasons, including that such a requirement may be thought to conflict with other criteria, potentially create other legal issues, or is assumed to flow from the new process itself -- or it might merely not be a priority for the legislative sponsors. FairVote believes that some form of proportional voting is needed to ensure maximum competitiveness for each seat and to ensure meaningful choices for all voters.
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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