SB 105
Background and Procedural Information

On January 3, 2008 Virginia Republican Senator Ken Cuccinelli introduced Virginia Senate Bill 105 (VA S.B. 105).  As of June 9, 2008 the bill is currently stalled in a Senate Committee.  The bill would authorize a five-person independent commission to redistrict congressional and state legislative districts.

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

No.  Single-member districts and neither required nor implied under VA S.B. 105.

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

Yes.  The bill requires the commission to comply with the federal statutory and constitutional law including the Voting Rights Act.  The commission may not use voter history information as a factor in developing districts.    

Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?

The caucuses of the first and second largest political parties in both bodies of the General Assembly may select one person to serve as an appointing authority.  These four appointing authorities will each choose one person to serve on the commission.  The four commissioners, with at least three positive votes, will then choose fifth and final member of the commission to be the chairman.  The chairman must not be affiliated with the two largest parties of the state legislature.  The commission will present plans, suggestions, and data, but the final redistricting decision will be made by the General Assembly.
Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?

No.  The commission is not required to create competitive districts, but it is forbidden to favor a “political party, incumbent legislator or member of congress, or other person or group.”

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

No.  There is no provision allowing members of the public to submit plans, but the commission most host at least three public hearings where the public may comment and ask the commissioners questions.   

Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?

No.  There is no provision 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
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.

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.

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

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