SR 344
Background and procedural information
Senate Resolution 344 seeks to amend the Georgia Constitution to create a Citizen’s Redistricting Commission for Congressional and legislative redistricting. The bill is currently in committee.

Under the proposed legislation, are single-member districts a requirement or otherwise implied?
No. Although the bill requires every district to be as close to the same size as possible, it does not require each district to have only one member.

Does the proposed legislation provide for Voting Rights Act compliance (e.g. can the commission use voter history information)?
Yes. The bill specifically requires compliance with the Voting Rights Act, although it does not set standards for the committee to follow in this compliance.   

Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?
The Citizen’s Redistricting Commission is comprised of seven members. To be appointed, a person must have been registered to vote in the past two elections, must not be serving in any elected office, and must agree to not serve in an elected office within two years of service on the commission. The Minority Leader of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, and the Lieutenant Governor each appoint one member. The Lieutenant Governor in Georgia runs independently of the Governor, and therefore is not necessarily the same party as the Governor. The Governor of the state appoints two members, only one of which may be of the same party as the Governor. Once these six members are appointed, they appoint the seventh member. If an agreement cannot be reached as to the seventh member by March 1 of the year following the census, the committee is dissolved and the General Assembly undertakes the redistricting.

Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?

Under the proposed legislation, can members of the public submit plans?
No. There is no mechanism set up in which the public could submit redistricting plans to the committee. Before the committee may make its plan, however, the bill requires it to hold and publicize at least one public hearing in each congressional district to gain public input.

Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?
No. The bill provides for the committee to redistrict once per decade, in the year after the census.

*Note: A proposal may be neutral on whether or not to favor competitive districts for a number of reasons, including that such a requirement may be thought to conflict with other criteria, potentially create other legal issues, or is assumed to flow from the new process itself -- or it might merely not be a priority for the legislative sponsors. FairVote believes that some form of proportional voting is needed to ensure maximum competitiveness for each seat and to ensure meaningful choices for all voters.

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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