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)?


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.   
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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