When does redistricting go into effect? It’s complicated…

by Bill Post

I called the Secretary of State’s office to get the explanation of when the new US Congressional districts go into effect, and when the new state legislative districts (state house & state senate districts) go into effect.

Here’s what I found out.

According to Summer in the SOS Election’s Office, the Congressional Redistricting lines (SB 990) took effect immediately upon passage.  That means that the new lines are in effect right now.

However, the Special Election to replace David Wu will not be under those new lines, as “Attorney General John Kroger has advised us that, legally, the election would be to replace a seated Congressman, which means that since Wu was elected under the old lines, those lines are in effect for any special election.”

There you go!  The Democratic Attorney General and the Democratic Secretary of State do NOT want the special election to be under the new lines, especially with a + 2-3% GOP difference from the old lines.

Next year’s 2012 elections, however, will be under the new lines.

As for the state legislative lines (SB 989), due to the passage of Measure 55, the new lines would not go into effect until January 2013.  However, the elections of 2012 WILL be under the new lines.

Confused?  So am I.

According to Summer again, the county elections’ offices had to wait until August 1st to see if there were any appeals to the redistricting law, and then they could begin updating the voter records and handbooks, etc.

So, if you are Bob and you live in Podunk, Oregon, which is House District 99 and there were an election today, you would vote under the old lines.  Next year, you would vote under the new lines and because HD 99 is across the street from you now, you may be in HD 98 so you’ll be voting for a different candidate and that candidate, should he or she win, would technically not represent you until January of 2013.

Got it?  Yeah, OK.

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Posted by at 11:25 | Posted in Redistricting | 13 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Shawn Lindsay

    As co-chair of the redistricting committee, let me clarify. SBs 989 (legislative) and 990 (congressional) have been passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor. They are law. But they do not become OPERATIVE until 1/14/13 and 1/3/13, respectively. Each bill allows for the November 2012 election to be conducted with the new lines. Shawn Lindsay

    • None

      Rep. Lindsay … I know hindsight is 20/20 but if the leg had put an emergency clause on the bill … would it have potentially changed the interp on the AG?

    • The Bill Post Radio Show

      Shawn, thank you for clarifying.  As stated in my piece, my info came from the AG’s office and the SOS’s office so…….that speaks volumes….:)

    • Devin

      First when does this law (SB 990) take effect; that would be on the “effective date”, which is the signing date because of Section 4 which declares an emergency and says that it becomes effective immediately, or on June 30th, 2011.  (https://gov.oregonlive.com/bill/2011/SB990/
      For most things except for “nominating or electing Representatives to the Congress of the United States”, the new congressional lines become operative on January 3, 2013. 
      Now for “nominating or electing Representatives to the Congress of the United States”, it says that the new lines are to be become operative on the effective date (June 30th 2011).  
      There are only two wrinkles in this whole thing.  1) First is that it uses a weird definition of “nomination of candidates”, although this applies only to nomination of candidates, not election of candidates, and as such the primary nomination process, might be under the old lines, while the election itself under the new lines.  SB 990 saying that by “nomination of candidates” what they really mean is “nomination of candidates by a major political party at the primary election as provided in ORS chapter 249 and thenomination of candidates by other than a major political party as provided in ORS chapter 249”.  By saying “the primary election” and referencing ORS chapter 249, one could make the argument that they were referring to only the primary election for November of next year, and as such the primary for the special election wouldn’t have the new lines. 
      2) There is a potential constitutional issue, but if that is the case the entire redistricting law is null and void (not just this part about how it applies to special elections) because there is no severability clause.  This problem is based on the supreme court case of “Baker v. Carr” in that each individual had to be weighted equally in the legislative appointment (“one person, one vote”).  Its hard to say if this would apply or not.  The constitution states that the “The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof”.  A claim might be made that it violates the “equal protection of the laws.” Of the 14th amendment, however from Skinner v. Oklahoma, the test of that is whether a State has made an “invidious discrimination,” as it does when it selects “a particular race or nationality for oppressive treatment.”  Which I don’t think applies here, but an argument could be made.

      • Devin

        It dropped some of my line returns, sorry if it’s a big block of text, it was meant to be more spaced out.

  • Brodhead

    It will be awesome to see Ol Shawn Lindsay’s LDS candidate Mitt Romney go down in flames when Rick Perry steps up….Isnt it interesting that the LDS church preached that blacks were “Cain” until 1978 and now Herman Cain is debating an LDS candidate???Plus Herman Cain is a better man than Romney. Then again, when I find the Golden tablets or Moroney  (Moron) Ill get back to you! hahahahahahahaha

    • Devin

      My god man, stop with the hateful messaging!  There are over 5 million people that practice the Mormon religion in this country.  And you insult every one of them with your rhetoric.
      Now I love Herman Cain, I think he is a great American, but that is beside the point.

  • Brodhead

    Wasnt Joseph Smith just a charismatic fraud? Didnt he just make the LDS religion up? I mean, promoting racism as part of a religion seems a bit suspect doesnt it???

    • June Bug

      Does blaming the Jews as a whole for the death of Christ make the Christian denominations that do this suspect? Seriously, such an insulting comment…

  • Po

    These morons will continue to spit in our faces as long as we allow them to do so.

  • Brumbydj

    It’s hardly difficult to understand, nor is it some political plot.  Since we already elected representatives we stay with them until the next election –that is, the next FULL election (or normal election or whatever you want to call it), not an election held only to replace one of the representatives we already elected who will be stepping down before the end of his term for some unusual circumstance.  At the next FULL election all of us will again be electing our representatives, according to where we live –which means, we will be electing the representative that will actually be representing us until the FULL election after that one.

    To have people in the redistricted lines elect a replacement for someone leaving before the end of his term would mean that replacement is elected by only some of the people that the man he is replacing was representing.  Worse, it would mean that some people he will NOT be representing will have a say in who gets into office.  Of course the election ONLY to replace an already elected representaive for the rest of his normal term of office MUST MUST MUST and I repeat MUST be held within the SAME population of voters that elected the man who is stepping down before the end of his full term.  Or, in other words, by all of the people the replacement will be representing, and not by anyone else.

    Should we call the idea of doing this any other way a republican plot? 

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