The secretary of state's elections division has released the draft ballot title for a proposed 2020 initiative that would change the way Oregon draws legislative and congressional district boundaries.
As WW first reported, the proposed initiative, written by the former lawmaker and prolific ballot-measure author Kevin Mannix, would shift responsibility for redistricting from the Legislature to a 10-member citizens' commission.
Here's the draft ballot title:
"Amends Constitution: Creates commission for legislative redistricting, changes redistricting requirements; commissioners represent areas with very unequal populations."
Mannix doesn't like that description of what he's trying to do.
"The draft ballot title ignores the fact that this is a citizens commission and ignores the fact that the citizens commissioners cannot be persons who have held partisan offices during the previous 10 years," Mannix tells WW via email.
"The citizens commissioners are appointed by groups of County Commissioners around the state. The commission is not designed to represent areas and the emphasis on representing areas 'with very unequal population' is inappropriate. Almost all state boards and commissions are not apportioned by population. The attorney general could just have easily said that the commission is geographically diverse."
The elections division will now accept comment from interested parties—of whom there are likely to be many, given the importance of how district boundary lines are drawn—through Dec. 19.