House Joint Resolution 41
Background and procedural information
House Joint Resolution 41 proposes to amend the Oregon constitution to establish an independent redistricting committee for the drawing of district lines for the state legislature.

Under the proposed legislation, are single-member districts a requirement or otherwise implied?
No, however the bill does require that there be two representative districts within each senate district. This restriction may mean that districts must be single-member in practice.

Does the proposed legislation provide for Voting Rights Act compliance (e.g. can the commission use voter history information)?
The legislation does not have standards for how to create districts.

Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?
The commission is comprised of five members to be chosen after each decennial census. Four members are appointed by the Supreme Court of Oregon. To be appointed, a person must be a retired state or federal judge who hasn’t held a partisan office, and has been a registered member of the Democratic or Republican parties for at least five years. The Supreme Court must create a list of qualified persons, and choose four at random to be appointed. If more than two people of either party are chosen, that name is thrown out and another is chosen until the four appointees are comprised of two Republicans and two Democrats. The fifth member is appointed by the four members appointed by the Supreme Court.

Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?

Under the proposed legislation, can members of the public submit plans?
No, there is no mechanism that allows the public to submit plans. The commission must hold at least three public hearings across the state, however, in which the public can give their input.

Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?
No. Redistricting may only be done once, 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.

June 18th 2006
Where politicians dare to tread
San Francisco Chronicle

The San Francisco Chronicle editorial board endorses the British Columbia Citizens Assembly approach to electoral reform, specifically noting the potential for proportional representation in California.

March 21st 2006
Real redistricting reform is proportional representation
San Francisco Examiner

Rob Dickinson of Californians for Electoral Reform writes a commentary on how recent proposals to make the redistricting process fairer miss the mark. For real progress in how we elect our representatives, we need to turn to proportional voting.

March 1st 2006
Tanner redistricting bill gains Senate sponsor
The Hill

Senator Tim Johnson introduced a companion bill to Rep. John Tanner's federal redistricting reform legislation. The identical bills, supported by FairVote, would set up state commissions to handle redistricting only once a decade.

December 20th 2005
Overhaul of state electoral system sought

Following on the heels of the defeat of redistricting reform in California, Republican and Democratic legislators plan on introducing legislation to create a citizens assembly for election reform and discuss proportional voting for the state.

December 11th 2005
A Dramatic Idea for Election Reform
New York Times

A Times reader highlights the fundamental weakness of any single-member district-based system: gerrymandering is unavoidable.

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