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?


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.

October 23rd 2005
Who Should Redistrict?

The New York Times Magazine explains the dilemmas many states, including California, face as they attempt to create competitive and fair congressional districts. Dean Murphy cites FairVote's statistics.

October 15th 2005
Wamp fresh leadership for sagging Republicans
The Tennessean

According to FairVote's Ryan O'Donnell, the Republican party should seize the opportunity to embrace electoral reforms, and take the lead on ending gerrymandering.

October 5th 2005
Mapping the way to a better system
Boston Herald

Why Massachusetts should turn a critical eye towards gerrymandering. This article mentions Fairvote.

October 2nd 2005
Several states may change redistricting process
L.A. Times

Discussion of redistricting practices in California, Massachusetts and Florida. Mentions Tanner's bill.

September 25th 2005
Local GOP breaks with governor to oppose redistricting
Auburn Journal

An article about the debate over a proposal that would give a panel of judges the responsibility of redistricting

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