HB 376
Background and Procedural Information

House Bill 376 was introduced on January 31, 2008 by Republican Representative Rebecca Chavez-Houck.  The legislation establishes an independent, bipartisan redistricting commission.  

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

Yes. The legislation explicitly states that the redistricting plan must divide the state into single-member districts for each congressional, state house, state senate, and state school board district.  

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

No.

Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?

Under the legislation there are 9 commissioners. Two commissioners are to be appointed by the President of the Senate, 2 by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, 2 by the leader of the minority party in the Senate, and 2 by the leader of the minority party in the House of Representatives. The 8 appointed commissioners then select 2 vice chairs, who then proceed to select the ninth commissioner, which is to become the chair of the commission. Furthermore, each commissioner must be at least 25-years of age, a citizen of the United States, and a resident of the State of Utah for at least 3 consecutive years prior to appointment.

Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?

Yes. The legislation provides that districts should promote competitiveness and partisan fairness, as long as doing so would not contradict the other goals of the legislation.  

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

Within 14 days of the commission issuing a draft of its redistricting plan, it must hold a series of 7 public hearings.  During the public hearings, members of the public are allowed to submit written comments regarding the redistricting plan.  

Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?

No. The legislation requires that redistricting shall only occur every 10 years after the decennial census, or as needed resulting from a change in the number of congressional or legislative seats for reasons other than the decennial census.   
   
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
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.

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.

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

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