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Redistricting of Congressional Districts
State of California
Initiative Constitutional Amendment - Majority Approval Required
Pass: 5,733,104 / 61.2% Yes votes ...... 3,628,769 / 38.8% No votes
Index of all Propositions
|Results as of Nov 30 4:33pm, 100.0% of Precincts Reporting (24845/24845)|
|Information shown below: Summary | Fiscal Impact | Yes/No Meaning | Impartial Analysis | Arguments ||
Should the state Constitution be amended to have the Citizens Redistricting Commission redistrict for the U.S. House of Representatives, to change existing redistricting criteria, and to reduce the redistricting timeline?
This measure takes the responsibility to determine boundaries for California's congressional districts away from the State Legislature. Instead, the commission recently established by voters to draw district boundaries of state offices would determine the boundaries of congressional districts.
In a process known as "redistricting," the State Constitution requires that the state adjust the boundary lines of districts once every ten years following the federal census for the State Assembly, State Senate, State Board of Equalization (BOE), and California's congressional districts for the U.S. House of Representatives. To comply with federal law, redistricting must establish districts which are roughly equal in population.
Recent Changes to State Legislature and BOE Redistricting. In the past, district boundaries for all of the offices listed above were determined in bills that became law after they were approved by the Legislature and signed by the Governor. On some occasions, when the Legislature and the Governor were unable to agree on redistricting plans, the California Supreme Court performed the redistricting.
In November 2008, voters passed Proposition 11, which created the Citizens Redistricting Commission to establish new district boundaries for the State Assembly, State Senate, and BOE beginning after the 2010 census. To be established once every ten years, the commission will consist of 14 registered voters--5 Democrats, 5 Republicans, and 4 others--who apply for the position and are chosen according to specified rules.
When the commission sets district boundaries, it must meet the requirements of federal law and other requirements, such as not favoring or discriminating against political parties, incumbents, or political candidates. In addition, the commission is required, to the extent possible, to adopt district boundaries that:
Proposition 11, however, did make some changes to the requirements that the Legislature must meet in drawing congressional districts. The Legislature--like the commission--now must attempt to draw geographically compact districts and maintain geographic integrity of localities, neighborhoods, and communities of interest, as defined by the Legislature. Proposition 11, however, does not prohibit the Legislature from favoring or discriminating against political parties, incumbents, or political candidates when drawing congressional districts.
Proposed New Method for Congressional Redistricting. This measure amends the Constitution to change the redistricting process for California's districts in the U.S. House of Representatives. Specifically, the measure removes the authority for congressional redistricting from the Legislature and instead gives this authority to the Citizens Redistricting Commission. The commission would draw congressional districts essentially as it draws other district lines under Proposition 11. The commission, for example, could not draw congressional districts in order to favor incumbents, political candidates, or political parties. The commission also is to consider the geographic integrity of cities, counties, neighborhoods, and communities of interest. As under Proposition 11, compliance with federal law would be required.
"Community of Interest" Defined. In addition to adding similar criteria for congressional redistricting as those established in Proposition 11, the measure defines a "community of interest" for both congressional redistricting and redistricting of State Assembly, State Senate, and BOE seats. A community of interest is defined as "a contiguous population which shares common social and economic interests that should be included within a single district for purposes of its effective and fair representation."
Two Redistricting-Related Measures on This Ballot. In addition to this measure, another measure on the November 2010 ballot--Proposition 27--concerns redistricting issues. Key provisions of these two propositions, as well as current law, are summarized in Figure 1. If both of these measures are approved by voters, the proposition receiving the greater number of "yes" votes would be the only one to go into effect.
See Figure 1 (click here and scroll down to view) Comparing Key Provisions of Current Law and November 2010 Propositions on the Drawing of Political Districts
What is Prop 20?|
Secretary of State
League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Secretary of State