Background and procedural information
State Representative Glenn Anderson (D-18th) proposed House Joint Resolution K to the Michigan State Legislature on May 24, 2005. The proposed resolution would amend the current state constitution and create an independent redistricting committee. The bill has been referred to the House Oversight, Elections and Ethics Committee in the state legislature.

Under the proposed legislation are single-member districts a requirement or otherwise implied?
Yes. The proposed amendments to the state constitution require both the House of Representatives and the Senate to be elected to single-member districts.

Does the proposed legislation provide for Voting Rights Act compliance (e.g. can the commission use voter history information)?
Yes. The proposal prohibits the use drawing of districts for the purpose of diluting the voting strength of a community of interest, and it also requires the districts to comply with federal law (which includes the Voting Rights Act). However, the commission is not allowed to use past election results, voting history, or incumbent address in drawing the districts.

Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?
The commission will consist of nine members. Four members will be selected by the state organizations of the two parties whose candidates received the most votes in the last gubernatorial election. The Speaker of the House, the minority leader of the House, the Senate majority leader and the Senate minority leader each choose one member and these eight members would collectively choose the ninth member.

Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?

Under the proposed legislation, can members of the public submit plans?
Maybe. The commission is required to hold public hearings on the proposed districts and there is no ban on public proposals.

Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?
No. The commission must finish its plan no later than November 1 following the national 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.

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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