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.

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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