Redistricting is the redrawing of boundaries for legislative districts to reflect changes in population. The California Constitution entrusts the state legislature with adjusting Senatorial, Assembly, Congressional, and Board of Equalization districts every 10 years following the national census (California Constitution, Article XXI). The governor has the authority to approve or veto proposed districts.Redistricting and reapportionment, the allocation of seats to states, help determine the partisan makeup of our legislative bodies, and strongly affect the representation of ethnic groups and geographic areas within the state. The high political stakes of redistricting and reapportionment have led to recurring struggles over control of the process.
In a 2005 special election, Governor Schwarzenegger supported Proposition 77, which sought to transfer authority to redraw congressional and legislative district boundaries from the legislature to a panel of retired judges. The measure was defeated by a wide margin. Unlike Proposition 77, Proposition 11 leaves the drawing of Congressional districts in the hands of the Assembly and Senate.
Proposition 11 transfers authority to redraw Assembly, Senate, and Board of Equalization district boundaries from the legislature to a 14-person legislative redistricting commission, beginning with the 2010 Census. The The selection process for the Commission would be managed by the State Auditor. Any registered California voter who meets certain conflict of interest rules and other requirements may apply for membership on the Commission. The selection process includes screenings, a measure of random selection, and input from legislative leaders. The fourteen members selected would include five from each of the state’s two largest political parties and four not belonging to either party.
The measure also sets out criteria for drawing district boundaries. For approval, district boundaries need votes from three Democratic commissioners, three Republican commissioners and three commissioners from neither party.
Public Opinon Resources
October 17, 2008
Statewide Database - Redistricting Database of the State of California
University of California, Berkeley
Reports and Studies
Redistricting in California: Competitive Elections and the Effects of Proposition 11.
George Passantino, Project Director: Adrian T. Moore, Ph.D., Reason Institute,
Redistricting Reform in California: Proposition 11 on the November 2008 California Ballot Center for Governmental Studies. October 2008
Redistricting and Legislative Partisanship. Eric McGhee, Public Policy Institute of California. September 2008.
The Implications of Nesting in California Redistricting. Bruce E. Cain and Karin Mac Donald, Institute of Governmental Studies. August 2007.
A Comparative Overview of California Redistricting Reform Proposals in 2007, Shakari Byerly, Center for Governmental Studies. June 2007.
Re–Drawing Lines: A Public Interest Analysis of California’s 2006 Redistricting Reform Proposals, Shakari Byerly and Steve Carbo. Center for Governmental Studies, Demos. August 2006.
Competition and Redistricting in California : Lessons for Reform, Bruce E. Cain, Karin Mac Donald, Iris Hui. Institute of Governmental Studies, University of California at Berkeley. February 2006.
California Fair Redistricting Act, Center for Governmental Studies. 2005.
Drawing Lines: A Public Interest Guide to Real Redistricting Reform, Ari Weisbard and Jeannie Wilkinson. Center for Governmental Studies, Demos. February 2005.
Audio and Video
Center for Governmental Studies