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?

October 23rd 2005
Who Should Redistrict?

The New York Times Magazine explains the dilemmas many states, including California, face as they attempt to create competitive and fair congressional districts. Dean Murphy cites FairVote's statistics.

October 15th 2005
Wamp fresh leadership for sagging Republicans
The Tennessean

According to FairVote's Ryan O'Donnell, the Republican party should seize the opportunity to embrace electoral reforms, and take the lead on ending gerrymandering.

October 5th 2005
Mapping the way to a better system
Boston Herald

Why Massachusetts should turn a critical eye towards gerrymandering. This article mentions Fairvote.

October 2nd 2005
Several states may change redistricting process
L.A. Times

Discussion of redistricting practices in California, Massachusetts and Florida. Mentions Tanner's bill.

September 25th 2005
Local GOP breaks with governor to oppose redistricting
Auburn Journal

An article about the debate over a proposal that would give a panel of judges the responsibility of redistricting

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