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.

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

[ Previous ] [ Next ]