SB 453

Background and Procedural Information:
2007 Bill Text S.B. 453 introduced by Sen. Moore establishes an independent redistricting commission for congressional districts.

Under the proposed legislation, are single-member districts a requirement or otherwise implied?
Implied. The bill requires that districts be created by dividing the population by the number of districts required by federal law. Current federal law requires single member districts for congressional seats.

Does the proposed legislation provide for Voting Rights Act compliance (e.g. can the commission use voter history information)?
Yes. No district shall be drawn for the purpose or with the effect of diluting the voting strength of a group based on race, ethnicity or language minority status, or for the purpose of augmenting or diluting the voting strength of a political party, or any individual. In drawing district lines, the Commission shall not consider residential address, party affiliation, or partisan voting history of any individual or groups of individuals, except to the extent necessary to avoid dilution of voting strength based on race, ethnicity or language minority status.

Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?
The Commission shall consist of seven member commissioners. The Governor shall appoint a dean or professor of law or political science or government at an institution of higher learning in the Commonwealth; the Attorney General shall appoint a retired justice who resides in the Commonwealth; and the Secretary of the Commonwealth, shall appoint an expert in civil rights law who is a resident of the Commonwealth. The House Speaker, the House Minority Leader, the Senate President, and the Senate Minority Leader shall each nominate three individuals. The appointees chosen by the Governor, Attorney General, and Secretary of the Commonwealth shall then select one of the three nominees named by each said official.

Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?

Under the proposed legislation, can members of the public submit plans?
Yes. The public shall be afforded the opportunity to submit proposed maps for consideration by the Commission and the Commission shall make map-making software available for public use.

Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?

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
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.

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.

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

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