Background and procedural information
State Representative Glenn Anderson (D-18th) proposed House Joint Resolution K to the Michigan State Legislature on May 24, 2005. The proposed resolution would amend the current state constitution and create an independent redistricting committee. The bill has been referred to the House Oversight, Elections and Ethics Committee in the state legislature.

Under the proposed legislation are single-member districts a requirement or otherwise implied?
Yes. The proposed amendments to the state constitution require both the House of Representatives and the Senate to be elected to single-member districts.

Does the proposed legislation provide for Voting Rights Act compliance (e.g. can the commission use voter history information)?
Yes. The proposal prohibits the use drawing of districts for the purpose of diluting the voting strength of a community of interest, and it also requires the districts to comply with federal law (which includes the Voting Rights Act). However, the commission is not allowed to use past election results, voting history, or incumbent address in drawing the districts.

Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?
The commission will consist of nine members. Four members will be selected by the state organizations of the two parties whose candidates received the most votes in the last gubernatorial election. The Speaker of the House, the minority leader of the House, the Senate majority leader and the Senate minority leader each choose one member and these eight members would collectively choose the ninth member.

Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?

Under the proposed legislation, can members of the public submit plans?
Maybe. The commission is required to hold public hearings on the proposed districts and there is no ban on public proposals.

Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?
No. The commission must finish its plan no later than November 1 following the national 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.

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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