Bill Summary for S 722 (2013-2014)

Summary date: 

Apr 5 2013

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2013-2014 Session
Senate Bill 722 (Public) Filed Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Intro. by Graham.

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Bill summary

Subject to the approval of voters at the November 2014 general election, proposes the following constitutional amendments to create an independent redistricting commission.

Amends Section 3 (Senate districts; apportionment of senators) and Section 5 (Representative districts; apportionment of representatives) of Article ll of the North Carolina Constitution to provide that the Independent Redistricting Commission, created in this act, revise Senate and House districts and apportionment of Senators and Representatives among those districts so that the districts meet the following goals to the extent possible:  (1) compactness, to avoid elongated and irregularly shaped districts; (2) one person, one vote to ensure each voter's vote; and (3) minimizing the number of split counties, municipalities, and other communities of interest.

Constitutional amendment to Article II adds a new Section 25 providing for an 11-member Hamilton C. Horton Jr. Independent Redistricting Commission (Commission), four members each from the two largest political parties and three unaffiliated with either major party. Prohibits more than two members from residing in the same county and requires racial, ethnic, geographic, and gender diversity. Excludes anyone or any family member who has been a candidate for or served in public office in the last five years or has been a party official or employee or a lobbyist. Provides additional details on the Commission composition.

Amends Article II, Section 22(5), to provide that a bill in which the General Assembly makes an appointment or appointments to public office and which contains no other matters must be read three times in each house before it becomes law and must be signed by the presiding officers of each house; deletes the requirement for three readings for redistricting bills.

New GS 163-207.1 sets out procedure for selection of members to the redistricting Commission. Sets out nominating process for selecting screening panelists. Creates 10-member screening panel of current or retired county election board members and directors responsible for establishing a pool of 55 nominees for the Commission, with 20 nominees  each registered with the two major political parties in North Carolina. The President Pro Tempore, the Speaker, and Minority Leaders in both houses then get to strike up to two nominees each. Commission members are then chosen by lottery by the State Board of Elections (State Board) from political party and unaffiliated subpools. If three of four legislative leaders object to the Commission for lack of diversity, the State Board goes to another round of random drawings, with a limit of three drawings.

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