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?

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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