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?

November 19th 2005
Redistricting reform: How best to tackle ultra-safe districts
Sacramento Bee

FairVote's Rob Richie argues in commentary running in several newspapers that redistricting reformers must challenge winner-take-all elections.

November 16th 2005
In Canada, regular folks are put to work on reforms
San Jose Mercury News

Steven Hill prescribes a citizens assembly as a solution for achieving consensus on redistricting reform in California.

November 15th 2005
Citizens Must Drive Electoral Reform
Roll Call

Heather Gerken of Harvard Law suggests a citizens assembly as one means to achieve redistricting reform and buy-in from voters.

November 13th 2005
Arnold had the right idea about redistricting
The Herald News

The Herald News cites Fairvote with commentary about the dangers of Gerrmandering and redistricting obstacles.

November 13th 2005
ARNOLD AGONIZES: How the election changed the governor -- and California
San Francisco Chronicle

Article discussing the recent failure of redistricting reform in California and the potential solution in letting the citizens decide through a Citizens Assembly on Election Reform.

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