SB 453

Background and Procedural Information:
2007 Bill Text S.B. 453 introduced by Sen. Moore establishes an independent redistricting commission for congressional districts.

Under the proposed legislation, are single-member districts a requirement or otherwise implied?
Implied. The bill requires that districts be created by dividing the population by the number of districts required by federal law. Current federal law requires single member districts for congressional seats.

Does the proposed legislation provide for Voting Rights Act compliance (e.g. can the commission use voter history information)?
Yes. No district shall be drawn for the purpose or with the effect of diluting the voting strength of a group based on race, ethnicity or language minority status, or for the purpose of augmenting or diluting the voting strength of a political party, or any individual. In drawing district lines, the Commission shall not consider residential address, party affiliation, or partisan voting history of any individual or groups of individuals, except to the extent necessary to avoid dilution of voting strength based on race, ethnicity or language minority status.

Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?
The Commission shall consist of seven member commissioners. The Governor shall appoint a dean or professor of law or political science or government at an institution of higher learning in the Commonwealth; the Attorney General shall appoint a retired justice who resides in the Commonwealth; and the Secretary of the Commonwealth, shall appoint an expert in civil rights law who is a resident of the Commonwealth. The House Speaker, the House Minority Leader, the Senate President, and the Senate Minority Leader shall each nominate three individuals. The appointees chosen by the Governor, Attorney General, and Secretary of the Commonwealth shall then select one of the three nominees named by each said official.

Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?

Under the proposed legislation, can members of the public submit plans?
Yes. The public shall be afforded the opportunity to submit proposed maps for consideration by the Commission and the Commission shall make map-making software available for public use.

Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?

May 14th 2008
Is the House of Representatives Too Small?

The U.S. House of Representatives has been at 435 members since 1911, when the country was a third of its current population. Research suggests that districts may now be getting too big for adequate representation.

November 15th 2006
Redistricting Reconsidered
Washington Post

Citing FairVote's Dubious Democracy 2006, an editorial notes that non-competition in U.S. House races has causes more fundamental than gerrymandering.

November 1st 2006
Lines of demarcation
Dallas-Fort Worth Star-Telegram

FairVote research cited in this commentary on lopsided redistricting, uncompetitive districts and the party primary battles they inspire.

October 30th 2006
Electile Dysfunction?
News Release Wire

Former FairVote President Matthew Cossolotto calls for a range of reforms, highlighting two problems of American democracy: "counting the votes" and "making votes count."

August 19th 2006
Eliminate districts
Contra Costa Times

CA resident calls for proportional voting in one statewide district as a congressional redistricting reform.

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