HB 1070
Background and Procedural Information

On January 9, 2008 Virginia Democratic Delegate Bob Brink introduced Virginia House Bill 1070 (VA H.B. 1070).  As of June 6, 2008 the bill was left in the Committee Privileges and Elections.  This bill would create a seven-person commission whose responsibility would be to create a redistricting plan for the Virginia General Assembly and Congressional election districts.  This plan would be submitted to the General Assembly who would have authority to amend, ignore, or accept the commission’s plan.   

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

No.  There are no stated guidelines that the commission is required to use.  

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

No.  There is no requirement for Voting Rights Act compliance or restrictions preventing the commission from using voter history information.

Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?

The governor will select one candidate from four pools of three nominees.  The majority and minority leaders of the two houses will each nominate the three candidates for one pool.  The governor will then nominate one commissioner who is a member of a political party that garnered at least 25% of the vote in the most recent gubernatorial election.  The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court will then appoint a Special Master who will also serve as chairman.  The Special Master must be a current state legislator.
Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?

No.  There is no provision for competitive districts.  

Under the proposed legislation, can members of the public submit plans?

No.  Members of the public may not submit plans, comments, or any other information to the commission.  

Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?

Yes.  The commission can meet at any time.  
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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