CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS

New Jersey Constitutional Provisions on Legislative Redistricting

NEW JERSEY STATE CONSTITUTION 1947 (UPDATED THROUGH AMENDMENTS ADOPTED  IN NOVEMBER, 2010)

ARTICLE IV

LEGISLATIVE

SECTION II *

             1.   The Senate shall be composed of forty senators apportioned among Senate districts as nearly as may be according to the number of their inhabitants as reported in the last preceding decennial census of the United States and according to the method of equal proportions. Each Senate district shall be composed, wherever practicable, of one single county, and, if not so practicable, of two or more contiguous whole counties.

            2.   Each senator shall be elected by the legally qualified voters of the Senate district, except that if the Senate district is composed of two or more counties and two senators are apportioned to the district, one senator shall be elected by the legally qualified voters of each Assembly district. Each senator shall be elected for a term beginning at noon of the second Tuesday in January next following his election and ending at noon of the second Tuesday in January four years thereafter, except that each senator, to be elected for a term beginning in January of the second year following the year in which a decennial census of the United States is taken, shall be elected for a term of two years.

            3.   The General Assembly shall be composed of eighty members. Each Senate district to which only one senator is apportioned shall constitute an Assembly district. Each of the remaining Senate districts shall be divided into Assembly districts equal in number to the number of senators apportioned to the Senate district. The Assembly districts shall be composed of contiguous territory, as nearly compact and equal in the number of their inhabitants as possible, and in no event shall each such district contain less than eighty per cent nor more than one hundred twenty per cent of one-fortieth of the total number of inhabitants of the State as reported in the last preceding decennial census of the United States. Unless necessary to meet the foregoing requirements, no county or municipality shall be divided among Assembly districts unless it shall contain more than one-fortieth of the total number of inhabitants of the State, and no county or municipality shall be divided among a number of Assembly districts larger than one plus the whole number obtained by dividing the number of inhabitants in the county or municipality by one-fortieth of the total number of inhabitants of the State.

            4.   Two members of the General Assembly shall be elected by the legally qualified voters of each Assembly district for terms beginning at noon of the second Tuesday in January next following their election and ending at noon of the second Tuesday in January two years thereafter.

(cf: Article IV, Section II, paragraphs 1, 2, 3, 4 amended effective December 8, 1966)

* Please note that various provisions of Section II have been modified by subsequent court rulings. Currently, there are 40 legislative districts, with one senator and two members of the General Assembly elected from each district.

SECTION III

             1.   After the next and every subsequent decennial census of the United States, the Senate districts and Assembly districts shall be established, and the senators and members of the General Assembly shall be apportioned among them, by an Apportionment Commission consisting of ten members, five to be appointed by the chairman of the State committee of each of the two political parties whose candidates for Governor receive the largest number of votes at the most recent gubernatorial election. Each State chairman, in making such appointments, shall give due consideration to the representation of the various geographical areas of the State. Appointments to the Commission shall be made on or before November 15 of the year in which such census is taken and shall be certified by the Secretary of State on or before December 1 of that year. The Commission, by a majority of the whole number of its members, shall certify the establishment of Senate and Assembly districts and the apportionment of senators and members of the General Assembly to the Secretary of State within one month of the receipt by the Governor of the official decennial census of the United States for New Jersey, or on or before February 1 of the year following the year in which the census is taken, whichever date is later.

            2.   If the Apportionment Commission fails so to certify such establishment and apportionment to the Secretary of State on or before the date fixed or if prior thereto it determines that it will be unable so to do, it shall so certify to the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New Jersey and he shall appoint an eleventh member of the Commission. The Commission so constituted, by a majority of the whole number of its members, shall, within one month after the appointment of such eleventh member, certify to the Secretary of State the establishment of Senate and Assembly districts and the apportionment of senators and members of the General Assembly.

            3.   Such establishment and apportionment shall be used thereafter for the election of members of the Legislature and shall remain unaltered until the following decennial census of the United States for New Jersey shall have been received by the Governor.

(cf: Article IV, Section III, paragraphs 1, 2, 3 amended effective December 8, 1966)


Apportionment Commission By-Laws

NEW JERSEY APPORTIONMENT COMMISSION RULES
Adopted on January 18, 2011

Article I - Mandate

The New Jersey Apportionment Commission (the “Commission”) is established and operates according to the mandate set forth in Article IV, Section III, paragraphs 1 through 3 of the New Jersey Constitution.

Article II - Organization and Operation

1.         The Commission shall adopt Robert’s Rules of Order Revised and shall organize and operate under Robert’s Rules of Order Revised, as standard authority, when not in conflict with its constitutional mandate or these rules.

2.         One Co-Chairperson shall be designated from among the Commissioners of each delegation by the Commissioners of each delegation.  The Co-Chairpersons so elected shall have the power to act on behalf of their respective Commissioners with respect to such items as may be deemed necessary or expedient by a unanimous vote of said partisan Commissioners.

3.         The Co-Chairpersons so selected shall alternate presiding at alternate meetings of the Commission.  After the presiding officer has taken the Chair to preside over an official meeting, the order of business shall be as follows:

a.         Call to Order;

b.         Adoption of the minutes of the previous meeting by a vote by a majority of the members present;

c.         Reading of the minutes of the previous meeting may be waived by a majority vote of the members present;

d.         Reading of any correspondence by the Secretary to the Commission unless dispensed with by a vote of a majority of the members present;

e.         Old Business;

f.          New Business; and

g.         Motion to adjourn.

4.         One Vice Co-Chairperson shall be designated from among the Commissioners of each delegation by the Commissioners of each delegation.  Each Vice Co-Chairperson shall act in the place and stead of the Co-Chairperson of his/her party in the absence of that Co-Chairperson.

5.         The Co-Chairperson of each delegation, after consultation with the Commissioners of that delegation, shall designate their delegation's Legal Counsel and such other consultants and staff as they deem necessary.  The Co-Chairperson of each delegation shall notify their counterpart of his or her delegation's selections.

6.         No member of the Commission may serve as a staff member to the Commission.

Article III – Vacancies in Membership

In the event a vacancy in the membership of the Commission occurring prior to the certification by the Commission of legislative districts or during any period in which the legislative districts established by the Commission may be or are under challenge in the Courts of this State or the United States, the vacancy shall be filled within five days of the occurrence of the vacancy, in the same manner as the original appointment of the person whose position became vacant.

Article IV - Commission Budget

1.         The appropriation of funds made available to the Commission as authorized by the FY 2011 Appropriations Act shall be allocated to (a) the Common Fund of the Commission to carry out the Commission's common responsibilities; (b) to each of the two delegations; and (c) to the Eleventh Member, if necessary, to carry out his or her responsibilities.

2.         Each Co-Chairperson shall be authorized to sign the vouchers for the fund allocated to his/her respective delegation, and both Co-Chairpersons are empowered to jointly authorize expenditures from the common fund on behalf of the Commission and shall approve every expenditure and sign all necessary vouchers for common services and expenses of the Commission.  The 11th member shall be authorized to sign vouchers for the fund allocated to his/her use.

Article V - Voting and Quorum

1.         Six members of the Commission who are physically present shall constitute a quorum sufficient to transact business.

2.         A schedule and agenda of meetings of the Commission shall be jointly agreed to by the Co-Chairs of the Commission or at the request of six Commissioners.

3.         Six affirmative votes by the Commissioners present at any meeting at which there is a quorum shall be required for any action taken by the Commission.

4.         Notice of any meeting shall be given and shall include a statement of time, date, place and subject matter of the meeting.  Notice shall be given by the Co-chairs to Commissioners at least 48 hours in advance of such meeting.  Notice may be given either in writing or telephonically.  The notice requirement provided above can be waived by seven affirmative votes, which may be cast by telephonic means, of the Commissioners.  Upon the appointment of the Eleventh member, the notice requirement set forth herein can be waived by six affirmative votes.

5.         Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 10:4-8, meetings of the Commission are not subject to the Open Public Meetings Act.

6.         Members of the public may be permitted to speak at public hearings of the Commission only upon being recognized by the Chair.

Article VI - Public Hearings

1.         The Commission shall hold at least three public hearings in the northern, southern and central parts of the State.  The Commission may, subject to the constraints of time and convenience, review written plans for the establishment of legislative districts submitted by members of the general public.

2.         The Co-Chairpersons of the Commission shall direct the Secretary to the Commission to arrange for a Certified Court Reporter to be present at public hearings of the Commission and said reporter shall transcribe full proceedings of said public hearing.  A typewritten transcript of the public hearings shall be prepared as soon as possible after such hearings and shall be available to the Commissioners.

3.         The certified transcript of the above public hearings prepared by the Certified Court Reporter shall become part of the official records of the Commission and shall be submitted to the Secretary of State with other official records of the Commission, if any, when the Commission terminates its business.

Article VII - Certification of Establishment of Districts

The Commission shall certify the establishment of legislative districts upon a vote of six members of the Commission.  The certification of legislative districts shall be signed by all the Commissioners who cast the votes approving the legislative district plan and the certification thereof.

Article VIII - Report to the Legislature

1.         Before terminating its business, the Commission may submit to the Legislature any recommendations for modifying or amending existing statutes or the State Constitution by a vote of six members of the Commission, but if the Eleventh Member has been appointed and serves as a member of the Commission, then in that event, by a vote of seven members of the Commission.