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How San Diego’s Redistricting Map Could Shortchange Democrats

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Final Redistricting Plan for the City of San Diego

Final Redistricting Plan for the City of San Di...

Final Redistricting Plan for the City of San Diego.

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San Diego is required by the City Charter to redistrict at least every 10 years. The 149-page Charter acts as the city's constitution. It sets the rules for government and defines the roles and responsibilities of the mayor, city attorney and City Council.

Despite the city having more registered Democrats than Republicans, the current district map, adopted in 2011, may bring Republicans a majority on the City Council in the June primary.

The reason, according to political science professor Vladimir Kogan, is that district maps were redrawn in such a way that Democrats are concentrated in a few districts. That's left too few Democrats in other districts that could be won by Republicans.

Kogan predicts that Republicans will come out ahead in the June primary, holding five of the nine City Council seats despite the party having fewer registered voters.

“It’s really important, when we’re talking about elections, to separate voters who are registered from voters who actually vote,” he told KPBS Midday Edition on Tuesday.

Kogan said voters who are registered as Democrats tend to turn out less often than Republicans, especially in off-cycle or primary elections.

“Even when there’s a Democratic advantage on paper, that rarely translates into an actual Democratic advantage on election day,” he said.

He added that Republicans are more spread out geographically in a way that proves favorable to them in terms of representation.

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