SB 267
Background and Procedural Information

Republican Senator Jim Shockley introduced Montana SB 267 on January 10, 2007.  The legislation would amend the Montana Constitution to provide that the presiding officer of the districting and apportionment commission be a retired state or federal district court judge, or a former state supreme court justice. If passed, the legislation would be placed on Montana’s November 2008 ballot. 

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

Yes. Section 14 of the Montana Constitution would be amended to require that the state would be divided into as many districts as there are members of the house, with each district electing one representative, and that each senate district would be comprised of two adjoining house districts, such that each district elects one senator. 

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

Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?

The commission is comprised of 5 members.  The majority and minority leaders in both the house and senate each select an individual for the commission. Then the 4 selected individuals agree on the remaining commissioner, who is to be a retired state or federal district court judge, or a former state supreme court justice, who will act as presiding officer of the commission.  If the selected individuals cannot decide on a presiding officer, the state supreme court will make the decision from a pool of candidates.

Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?

The legislation does not explicitly discuss competitive districts. 

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

No. Only the commission may submit redistricting plans to the secretary of state for enactment. 

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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