For: 02/20/00

Contact: Info@FairVote2K.Org
Fair Vote 2k Home Page Fair Vote 2K Coalition

44 Summerfield St.
Thousand Oaks, CA
(805) 493-4332

Republicans Favor Districting Initiative

(Thousand Oaks, CA) The Republican Party of California and two minor parties have endorsed a California initiative that would ban gerrymandering after the 2000 census. The Libertarian and Natural Law Parties, in unanimous votes, expressed support for the 'Fair Vote 2K' proposal, which would automate the districting process by creating electoral boundaries solely on the basis of equal population and geographic compactness. Republicans got behind the plan at their spring
convention last week, with the unanimous support of their Initiatives Committee, affirming an earlier resolution. The resolution expresses the Party's commitment to "fair and equal representation of all voters by drawing election districts without regard to race, creed, color, national origin or political affiliation." California College Republicans and the Republican Liberty Caucus have also endorsed the
proposal, which would place a Constitutional Amendment on the November 2000 ballot.
The Libertarian Party Executive Committee voted earlier this month to endorse the plan. LPC Executive Director Juan Ros says the Fair Vote 2K plan "empowers
voters and enables smaller parties to challenge incumbents more effectively." The proposal would prohibit the use of party registration or previous voting history in the drawing of district lines.
Natural Law Party executives offered their support this week, describing the districting plan as "worthy of support by every concerned voter." Election experts
estimate that the computerized system would result in a 20 to 30 percent increase in the number of competitive electoral districts in the state.
Fair Vote 2K would take apportionment power away from legislators and judicial councils by requiring the Secretary of State to execute a specific set of instructions,
which would consider only population equality and compactness in drawing all federal and state district boundaries.
Fair Vote 2K Coalition Director William Westmiller says he's delighted with the endorsements. "This is not a partisan proposal. It's a simple, objective and clean method of drawing fair districts that will earn support from all fair-minded voters."
Westmiller says a computer program that would draw equal and compact districts can be run on any home computer. "In a few hours," he says, "any voter in
California can verify that the Secretary of State has complied with the initiative requirements. He says the program will be provided on the Fair Vote 2K Coalition
website free of charge.
The initiative proposal is currently circulating petitions to qualify for the November 2000 ballot. Over 670,000 signatures are required to qualify the state Constitutional amendment.
Endorsement proposals are being considered by the Reform Party, Common Cause and the Committee for Proportional Representation. Westmiller says he'll also
pursue support from local Democratic Councils and other civic organizations.

- End -

William Westmiller
Author, Fair Vote 2K
(805) 493-4332 hm
(805) 373-0596 wk

Fair Vote 2K Coalition
44 Summerfield Street
Thousand Oaks, CA 91360

Initiative Copy (2 pages)
Op-Ed Commentary (2 pages)

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