North Dakota measure proposes revamping legislative redistricting

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June 29, 2010

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BISMARK, North Dakota: The petition drive deadline is about a month away but the nearing deadline didn't keep one group from proposing an initiative at the last minute. North Dakota's League of Women Voters has filed a proposed initiated constitutional amendment to revamp the redistricting process. The measure proposes requiring that legislative district lines be drawn by an eight-member independent commission. Currently North Dakota lawmakers are responsible for establishing district lines. Lois Ivers Altenburg, the organizations' president and chairwoman of the campaign, said, "I think there's always a lurking feeling that you've got the fox guarding the hen house when you have people who are in office, who want to maintain their position...deciding the shape of the districts that are going to elect them. We want to remove that suspicion."[1]

The proposed measure emulates redistricting proposals in Ohio, Oregon, Florida and California, to name a few. The rush of measures developed in an attempt to amend the redistricting process prior to the 2011 review of the U.S. Census Bureau's data.

Secretary of State Al Jaeger has until July 1 to review the proposed measure and write a short summary. Should supporters fail to meet the petition drive deadline, they would be allowed to collect signatures for the 2012 statewide ballot.[1]

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