HJR 14
Background and Procedural Information

Republican State Representative Daniel R. Foley introduced H.J.R. 14 on February 8, 2008.  The legislation establishes an independent redistricting commission to determine congressional, public regulation commission and state legislative district boundaries following each federal decennial census or as otherwise required.  

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

Yes. The legislation provides that members of the state legislature be elected from single-member districts.  

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

Partially. Section 2, Subsection I of the legislation excludes party registration and voting history data from being used during the initial phase of the mapping process, but permits such data to be used to test maps for compliance with the criteria provided in Subsection H of the legislation.
Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?

The independent redistricting commission consists of 5 members, no more than 2 of which are members of the same political party and no more than 2 of which shall reside in the same county. Each member must be a registered qualified elector of New Mexico who has been continuously registered with the same political party or registered as unaffiliated with a political party for 3 or more years immediately preceding appointment.  The commission is formed by New Mexico appellate judges who create a list of 25 individuals that are qualified to serve on the independent redistricting commission.  There must be 10 nominees from each of the 2 largest political parties in New Mexico based on party registration, and 5 nominees who are not registered with either of the 2 largest political parties in New Mexico.  From the list of nominees, the president pro tempore of the senate shall appoint 1 member, the speaker of the house of representatives shall appoint 1 member, and the house and senate floor leaders of the minority party shall appoint 1 member each.  Those 4 individuals then select a fifth member who is not registered with any party already represented on the commission to serve as chairman.

Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?

Section 2, Subsection H explicitly states that “competitive districts shall be favored where to do so would create no significant detriment to the other criteria.”

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

No. However, the legislation does require that the commission’s proposed plan be advertised for public comment for at least 30 days.  

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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