Two Redistricting Proposals for November?

The Voters First redistricting reform initiative is currently scheduled to appear on the November 2008 General Election ballot. With the new discussion of another possible proposal coming from the legislature it is helpful to look at what happened last time new reform measure were put on the same ballot.

The Rose Institute report on redistricting proposals from 1980 to 1990 has the details here. During the 1990 election two Proposition were placed on the Ballot:

Prop 118 allowed the legislature to continue to redistrict but put in place tight constraints, created an Ethics Committee to monitor and report on the process and put the proposal before the voters during the next election.

Prop 119 created a 12 member bi-partisan commission of citizens nominated by non-profit, non-partisain organizations then selected by retired judges.

Both propositions failed by large margins due to lack of funding, complexity of the provisions and voter confusion between the competing measures.

The legislature has been given almost three years since Prop 77 to act and has failed to produce results. Now that the Voters First initiative is headed for the ballot they are moving towards creating a competing measure. From what we saw in 1990, two measures create confusion, reduce resources and ultimately lead to failure.

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