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Census To Change Electoral Lines

Audio

Aired 3/14/11

Analysts are crunching number to see how the new census data that came out last week could affect electoral districts in the future.

Analysts are crunching numbers to see how the new census data that came out last week could affect electoral districts in the future.

State, federal, county and city district lines will all be redrawn this year, using the new census data. Doug Johnson of the Rose Institute for State and Local Government at Claremont McKenna College said though California grew more slowly than in previous decades, a more democratic way of redrawing district lines will mean big changes in districts at the state and federal level.

“The combination of the census data and the voters’ creation of the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission will fairly radically change the Assembly, the State Senate and Congressional maps,” Johnson said, “We’ll have an all new plan.”

Johnson thinks some districts will be almost recognizable, in order to reflect the interests of the voters living there more accurately. For example, the percentage of Hispanics living in the state has grown from 32 to 38 percent in the last ten years. In San Diego County, Hispanics have increased from 27 percent to almost a third of the population.

Michel Anderson, chair of the county’s Redistricting Committee, said he hopes the public will get involved this year, like they did 10 years ago.

“We reviewed, I think, 15 maps,” Anderson said. “Several of which were submitted by the public, and we submitted two to the board of supervisors.”

However, 10 years ago the supervisors ended up voting for a map that was different from any of those presented to them.

Unlike the way state and federal district lines will be redrawn, where legislators cannot decide the outcome, the county supervisors still have the final say on their own district lines.

The Committee is scheduled to hold more than a dozen meetings over the next few months, with four meetings out ion the community. The Supervisors will vote in late June.

All district plans around the state must be finalized by August.

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