SCA 10
Background and Procedural Information

Senator Alan Lowenthal introduced California Senate Constitutional Amendment 10 on April 23, 2007.  It would place an eleven person independent commission to have authority over redistricting.  

Under the proposed legislation, are single-member districts a requirement or otherwise implied?

Yes.  Single-member districts are required.

Does the proposed legislation provide for Voting Rights Act compliance (e.g. can the commission use voter history information)?

This legislation provides for six ranked priorities that the commission should use to determine the shape of the districts.  Complying with the Voting Rights Act is the second highest priority.   

Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?

The California Judicial Council will select ten retired or sitting California Circuit or Appellate Judges, of which five must belong to the two largest political parties in the state to serve as panelists.  The panelists will nominate 55 people for the commissioner spots with 20 from each of the largest political parties in California and 15 not from one of the two largest political parties.  The President Pro Tempore of the Senate, the Minority Floor Leader of the Senate, the Speaker of the Assembly, and the Floor leader of the Assembly will each strike two of the 55 nominees and then select 2 of the members from their own party to serve as commissioners.  The Fair Political Practices Committee will select the three non-partisan candidates by lot.
Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?

No.  There are six goals the commission is instructed to use to determine the shape of districts and forming competitive districts is not one of those goals.   

Under the proposed legislation, can members of the public submit plans?

Yes.  The commission will make map-creating software and census information available to members of the public who may then submit a plan to the commission.  

Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?

Yes.  There is no provision in the legislation that would prevent 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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