HB 1937
Background and procedural information
House Bill HB 1937 would enact a statute that redefines how and when congressional and legislative districts are drawn, and creates an advisory commission for redistricting. This commission does not actually create redistricting plans. Plans are to be created by the Legislative Services Bureau, who may submit written requests for advice from the commission if they need to make a redistricting decision that is not clearly answerable by the guidelines laid forth. The bill is currently in committee.

Under the proposed legislation, are single-member districts a requirement or otherwise implied?
Yes. Although the bill does not explicitly state that single-member districts are required, it does state that each district shall elect a senator. In addition, representative districts must nest inside of senate districts, which could create difficulty in creating single-member districts.

Does the proposed legislation provide for Voting Rights Act compliance (e.g. can the commission use voter history information)?
Yes. The bill requires the redistricting plan to follow all federal laws, although political data may not be used.

Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?
The commission is comprised of five members. The first four members are appointed, one each, by the Majority and Minority Leaders of the Senate and the Majority and Minority Leaders of the House of Representatives. These four members must then, by a vote of at least three, appoint the fifth member who will serve as chairperson.

Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?

Neutral.*

Under the proposed legislation, can members of the public submit plans?
No. There is no mechanism through which the public can submit plans.

Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?
No. Redistricting may only be done the year after the Federal 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.

 
November 10th 2005
Why Redistricting and Campaign Reform Are Both Still Relevant
TPM Cafe

This political column cites FairVote as it points to the value of getting rid of winner-take-all elections to as the next step in redistricting reform.

November 2nd 2005
Gerrymander may help GOP in '06
The Napa Valley Registrer

An article that cites FairVote on why Gerrymandering harms elections and has an impact on skewed results.

November 2nd 2005
California, Ohio to vote on redistricting changes
Washington Post

FairVote's Rob Richie gets the last word on lack of voter choice in our elections, as this wire article reports on redistricting reform efforts in California and Ohio.

November 2nd 2005
How Money Buys Power in American Politics

Francis X. Clines, an editorial board member for the New York Times, writes on national politics, gerrymandering and the resultant decreased competitiveness in Congressional elections. Fairvote is cited.

October 27th 2005
To Tame Polarization Of Politics, Fix Our Redistricting System
Roll Call

[ Previous ] [ Next ]