Background and procedural information
House Joint Resolution 1 seeks to amend the Ohio Constitution to create a seven person redistricting commission. The bill is currently in committee.

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

Yes. The bill specifically requires all Congressional and legislative districts to be single-member.

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

Yes. The bill requires that the redistricting commission comply with all federal laws, including but not limited to laws protecting minority voting rights.

Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?

The commission is comprised of seven members. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, the President of the Senate, and the Minority Leader of the Senate each appoint one member. Those four members convene and must unanimously appoint the remaining three members. If the four members cannot unanimously agree on one or more of the appointed seats, each member must submit the name of a proposed appointee to the Governor, who must randomly choose a name. The Governor must repeat this process for each seat to be filled.

Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?
Yes. The bill favors competitive districts to the extent that they do not impede other redistricting standards laid forth.

Under the proposed legislation, can members of the public submit plans?
No. There is no mechanism created by which the public may submit plans, however, the bill does require all commission meetings to be open to the public.

Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?

No. Redistricting is only to be done in years ending in “one,” unless a court finds a plan to be illegal.
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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