HB320 (2017) Detail

Relative to procedures for apportioning electoral districts.










AN ACT relative to procedures for apportioning electoral districts.


SPONSORS: Rep. Knirk, Carr. 3; Rep. King, Hills. 33; Sen. Woodburn, Dist 1


COMMITTEE: Election Law






This bill establishes procedures and guidelines for apportioning electoral districts after the decennial census using a mathematical optimization process.


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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.






In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Seventeen


AN ACT relative to procedures for apportioning electoral districts.


Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:


1  New Chapter; Procedures for Apportioning Electoral Districts.  Amend RSA by inserting after chapter 662-A the following new chapter:



662-B:1  Apportionment of Districts.  Apportionment of representative, senatorial, executive council, and congressional districts, based on the most recent decennial census, shall be drawn using a mathematical optimization process.  In order to prevent gerrymandering, the districts shall be drawn with the perimeter of the district optimized to be as small as possible.

662-B:2  Constraints on Apportionment.  The following constraints shall be applied to apportionment under this chapter:

I.  Districts shall be established on the basis of population.  Each representative, senatorial, executive council, and congressional district shall have a population as nearly equal as practicable to the ideal district population.  Ideal district population shall be determined by dividing the number of districts to be established into the population of the state reported in the latest federal decennial census.

II.  The districts drawn shall follow existing town and ward boundaries.

III.  No district shall be drawn for the purpose of favoring a political party, incumbent legislator or councilor, or other person or group.  In establishing districts, no use shall be made of any of the following data:

(a)  Addresses of incumbent legislators.

(b)  Political affiliations of registered voters.

(c)  Previous election results.

(d)  Demographic information, other than population counts, except as required by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

IV.  No district shall be drawn for the purpose of augmenting or diluting the voting strength of a language or racial minority group.

662-B:3  Computer Algorithm.  A computer algorithm which performs the optimization process shall be written by an independent contractor selected by the speaker of the house of representatives, the house minority leader, president of the senate, and the senate minority leader during the year of the decennial census.  The computer algorithm shall be reviewed by representatives of all parties, as defined in RSA 652:11, and other interested individuals to ascertain fairness and lack of political bias prior to use.

662-B:4  Redistricting Plan.  A redistricting plan generated by the computer algorithm shall be forwarded to the speaker of the house of representatives and the president of the senate before April 1 of each year ending in one and the rules of each chamber shall be suspended to the extent necessary to allow the introduction of legislation to effectuate the plan.  It is the intent of this chapter that the general court shall vote on the plan in either the house of representatives or the senate expeditiously, but not less than 7 days after the plan is received and made available to the members of the general court, under a procedure or rule permitting no amendments except those of a purely corrective nature.  It is further the intent of this chapter that if the bill is approved by the first house in which it is considered, it shall expeditiously be brought to a vote in the second house under a similar procedure or rule.

2  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect upon its passage.


HB320 at GenCourtMobile

Action Dates

Date Body Type
Feb. 1, 2017 House Hearing
Feb. 14, 2017 House Exec Session
March 8, 2017 House Floor Vote

Bill Text Revisions

HB320 Revision: 949 Date: Jan. 30, 2017, 10:20 a.m.


March 8, 2017: Inexpedient to Legislate: MA RC 184-161 03/08/2017 HJ 9 P. 78

: Minority Committee Report: Ought to Pass

March 8, 2017: Majority Committee Report: Inexpedient to Legislate for 03/08/2017 (Vote 11-8; RC)

Feb. 14, 2017: ==RESCHEDULED== Executive Session: 02/14/2017 11:00 AM LOB 308

Feb. 7, 2017: ==CANCELLED== Executive Session: 02/07/2017 01:00 PM LOB 308

Feb. 1, 2017: Public Hearing: 02/01/2017 10:30 AM LOB 308

Jan. 5, 2017: Introduced 01/05/2017 and referred to Election Law HJ 3 P. 8