Support for a bipartisan citizens' reapportionment commission to reapportion both houses of the Idaho legislature on a population basis with substantially equal legislative districts; support for anti-gerrymandering controls, public hearings, and judicial review.
Convention delegates in 1987 voted to study the application of an independent citizens' reapportionment commission to the continuous reapportionment problems which have plagued Idaho. Members explored the history of reapportionment in Idaho, state and federal constitutional requirements, court decisions, and the approaches that other states have taken to solve reapportionment challenges.
Primary among the findings were that from early 1960s through the 1980s, every time the legislature reapportioned itself the plan has been successfully challenged in court and had to be rewritten. In contrast, in states where the reapportionment commissions have the done the job; the process has been smoother and less costly.
This position was adopted in February of 1988.
The League of Women Voters of Idaho believes that a bipartisan citizens' commission on reapportionment would be the most effective and least expensive method of achieving fair and equitable representation for the people of the state. Such a commission should be composed of an uneven number of members, preferably between five and nine in total.
The League believes that appointments to the commission should be made by the majority and minority leadership of the Idaho Legislature in equal numbers. The chairman should be selected by the commission members. No more than one half plus one should be from one party. Incumbent legislators should not be allowed to serve on the commission.
The reapportionment commission should include anti-gerrymandering standards and be constructed in agreement with constitutional provisions related to reapportionment. The League further supports public hearings on the commission's reapportionment plan and judicial review prior to the plan becoming law. The plan should not be subject to legislative oversight or approval.