SR 344
Background and procedural information
Senate Resolution 344 seeks to amend the Georgia Constitution to create a Citizen’s Redistricting Commission for Congressional and legislative redistricting. The bill is currently in committee.

Under the proposed legislation, are single-member districts a requirement or otherwise implied?
No. Although the bill requires every district to be as close to the same size as possible, it does not require each district to have only one member.

Does the proposed legislation provide for Voting Rights Act compliance (e.g. can the commission use voter history information)?
Yes. The bill specifically requires compliance with the Voting Rights Act, although it does not set standards for the committee to follow in this compliance.   

Under the proposed legislation, how is the commission formed?
The Citizen’s Redistricting Commission is comprised of seven members. To be appointed, a person must have been registered to vote in the past two elections, must not be serving in any elected office, and must agree to not serve in an elected office within two years of service on the commission. The Minority Leader of the Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, and the Lieutenant Governor each appoint one member. The Lieutenant Governor in Georgia runs independently of the Governor, and therefore is not necessarily the same party as the Governor. The Governor of the state appoints two members, only one of which may be of the same party as the Governor. Once these six members are appointed, they appoint the seventh member. If an agreement cannot be reached as to the seventh member by March 1 of the year following the census, the committee is dissolved and the General Assembly undertakes the redistricting.

Under the proposed legislation, are competitive districts favored?

Under the proposed legislation, can members of the public submit plans?
No. There is no mechanism set up in which the public could submit redistricting plans to the committee. Before the committee may make its plan, however, the bill requires it to hold and publicize at least one public hearing in each congressional district to gain public input.

Does the proposed legislation allow for mid-decade redistricting?
No. The bill provides for the committee to redistrict once per decade, in the year after the census.

*Note: A proposal may be neutral on whether or not to favor competitive districts for a number of reasons, including that such a requirement may be thought to conflict with other criteria, potentially create other legal issues, or is assumed to flow from the new process itself -- or it might merely not be a priority for the legislative sponsors. FairVote believes that some form of proportional voting is needed to ensure maximum competitiveness for each seat and to ensure meaningful choices for all voters.

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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