Proposition 40, which will still appear on the ballot, asks voters to approve or reject the efforts of the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, which drew up new voting districts following release of the data from the 2010 census. State Republicans were seeking the have the redistricting overturned, hoping that they’d pick up a few seats out of the deal.
Californians have voted three times in the past four years to have district maps drawn by an independent commission instead of politicians. Prop 11 in 2008 established the commission. Prop 20 in 2010 extended its authority to the state’s Congressional districts. Prop 27 in 2010 rejected politicians’ attempt to eliminate the commission and return redistricting authority to them.
Golden State GOPer’s finally got the message after losing an appeal before the California Supreme Court’s that kept the new districts in place for 2012.
The State Constitution allows voters to challenge district maps certified by the commission through the referendum process. A challenged map goes into effect if it is approved by a majority of the state’s voters. If a referendum is rejected by the state’s voters, the district map does not go into effect and the California Supreme Court oversees development of a new map.
So, just to be clear, a Yes vote on Proposition 40 means that you are supporting the idea of having non-politicians set political boundaries; districts established after 2010 will stay as they are.
A No vote on Proposition 40 means that you want the Courts to step in and redraw the boundaries.
So a “No” vote means “Yes” you want to change the boundaries. “Yes” means you’re okay with things the way they are. Got it?
Fortunately, the original proponents of the measure have abandoned their effort and are no longer seeking to reject the new Senate maps. Thank God we don’t have to watch commercials on this subject. It made my head hurt just writing about it.
FYI- How the Independent Commission is selected
(From the State Attorney General’s office)
Every ten years, 14 commissioners are selected pursuant to this three-step process:
1) Developing the Applicant Pool. Any registered California voter may apply. The State Auditor removes applicants from the pool if they have certain conflicts of interest, changed their political party affiliation during the past five years, or did not vote in at least two of the last three general elections.
2) Narrowing the Applicant Pool. After reviewing applicants’ analytical skills, impartiality, and appreciation of California’s diversity, three state auditors select the 60 most qualified applicants. Legislative leaders then may strike up to 24 names from the applicant pool.
3) Selecting Commissioners. From the remaining applicants, the State Auditor randomly draws the names of the first eight commissioners. These commissioners then select the final six commissioners from the narrowed applicant pool.
Just thought you’d like to know. Remember, vote Yes on 40. Even Republicans are okay with it now.
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This article first appeared at San Diego Free Press.