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?

June 18th 2006
Where politicians dare to tread
San Francisco Chronicle

The San Francisco Chronicle editorial board endorses the British Columbia Citizens Assembly approach to electoral reform, specifically noting the potential for proportional representation in California.

March 21st 2006
Real redistricting reform is proportional representation
San Francisco Examiner

Rob Dickinson of Californians for Electoral Reform writes a commentary on how recent proposals to make the redistricting process fairer miss the mark. For real progress in how we elect our representatives, we need to turn to proportional voting.

March 1st 2006
Tanner redistricting bill gains Senate sponsor
The Hill

Senator Tim Johnson introduced a companion bill to Rep. John Tanner's federal redistricting reform legislation. The identical bills, supported by FairVote, would set up state commissions to handle redistricting only once a decade.

December 20th 2005
Overhaul of state electoral system sought

Following on the heels of the defeat of redistricting reform in California, Republican and Democratic legislators plan on introducing legislation to create a citizens assembly for election reform and discuss proportional voting for the state.

December 11th 2005
A Dramatic Idea for Election Reform
New York Times

A Times reader highlights the fundamental weakness of any single-member district-based system: gerrymandering is unavoidable.

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