Monday, April 25, 2011

Independent Redistricting: Voters Keep Pressure on Lawmakers

New software lets Utahns propose redistricting plans (By Lisa Riley Roche, Deseret News) An effort to establish an independent redistricting commission through an initiative petition drive failed last year to generate enough signatures to qualify for the ballot. But a new group, Represent Me Utah, that includes Republicans, Democrats and independent voters is attempting to keep the pressure on lawmakers, according to co-chairwoman Kelli Lundgren. Lundgren said user-friendly mapping software will be welcomed. "I'm excited they are doing that for the public," she said. "But what I would love to see is that they actually use input from it."

Editorial: Redistricting reforms could move us further from raw politics (Dallas Morning News) For example, are districts compact, so voters in a district aren’t spread out all over kingdom come? Do districts largely keep intact the boundary lines of cities and counties? And do districts keep intact communities of interest, including voters who share common geographic, racial, cultural or economic interests? Those are some of the principles state Sen. José Rodríguez is trying to write into Texas law so future redistricting battles are guided by something other than raw politics. The El Paso Democrat’s bill, SB 1556, would guide future map-drawers to focus on several principles.

Oregon's next political map (By The Oregonian Editorial Board) Lawmakers haven't delivered an acceptable redistricting plan in 60 years; either they get it done this year, or they get out of the process


Redistricting Roundup: Citizen activist organizations work to reform redistricting (By Geoff Pallay, Ballot News) Earlier this year, we discussed the push in some states to take redistricting power away from state legislatures and instead hand authority to independent commissions. Across the country, citizen activist organizations have formed to push for redistricting reform. At least 15 different organizations and coalitions have been created by concerned citizens looking to try and play a part in this year’s redistricting.

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