Analysis of New Redistricting Regulations

As Rose Institute Fellow Douglas Johnson recently posted on the Rose Report, the California State Auditor’s office has released the most version of the regulations governing the selection of commissioners for California’s 2011 Independent Redistricting Commission, as established by Proposition 11.

Proposition 11 requires redistricting to be done not by the legislature itself as it had been in the past but by an independent redistricting commission. The Auditor’s regulations detail the selection of a panel to select the commissioners and the selection of the commissioners themselves.

Most of the revisions do not significantly change the process already outlined by the State Auditor, but rather clarify the process and ensure that the regulations are clear and cannot be misinterpreted.

One of the more significant revisions to the regulations involves section 60805 which deals with ensuring an appreciation for California’s diversity, as regards demographics and geography. Specifically, “level of income” is changed to “economic status”, volunteer experience will now be considered in selecting between applicants and applicants are now expected to be aware that voters of certain demographic characteristics in some cases have “less opportunity to participate in the electoral process than others”.

Other changes include reworking the campaign contribution language to allow for applicants who have self-financed their own campaigns, requiring training for the panel addressing California’s diversity and the Voter’s Rights Act, and clarifying the “relevant analytical skills” required of a commission member.

Several of the new revisions were suggested by a group which included the Rose Institute’s Douglas Johnson.

Comments were accepted on the regulations until October 15th.

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