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?

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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