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.   
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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