HJR 28
Background and Procedural Information

On December 14, 2007 Virginia Democratic Representative Brian Moran introduced Virginia House Joint Resolution 28 (VA H.J.R. 28).  As of June 11, 2008 it is stalled in a House Committee.  It authorized a five-person independent redistricting commission to create new districts for Virginia legislative and congressional districts.   

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

Yes.  Single-member districts are a requirement.   

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

No.  The commission is not required to provide for Voting Rights Act compliance.  Also the commission is not restricted from using any voter history information.

Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?

The legislative leaders of the two largest political parties present in both the House of Delegates and Senate would each nominate a pool of three candidates for one commission position.  The Chief Justice of the Virginia Supreme Court would choose one nominee from each pool to form the first four commissioners.  These four commissioners would, with at least three positive votes, choose a fifth and final commissioner to serve as chairperson.  The Chairperson must not be affiliated with either of the two largest political parties in the state.  If the Commission cannot develop a plan then the Virginia Supreme Court will choose from among the plans that are supported by the different commission members.
Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?

No.  The Commissions is not instructed to craft competitive districts.   

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

No.  Members of the public may not submit plans, question, or attend public forums to discuss the redistricting plans.   

Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?

No.  Redistricting is only allowed in years ending in one.   
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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