Applicant Review Panel Reaches a Milestone for the Citizens Redistricting Commission

Panel Holds a Public Meeting and Narrows the Pool of Applicants to 120 for the State’s Second Citizens Redistricting Commission

The Applicant Review Panel (Panel) for California’s second Citizens Redistricting Commission (Commission) held a three-day public meeting to further narrow the remaining pool of 342 applicants to 120 of the most qualified applicants. The 120 applicants selected as the most qualified come from three sub-pools: 40 registered Democrats, 40 registered Republicans, and 40 who are either registered without, or “independent” of, any political party (decline-to-state or no party preference) or with another party. Those applicants will participate in a personal interview process, to be conducted at upcoming public meetings of the Panel. Interviews are slated to commence on March 2, 2020.

“The Panel has reached a significant milestone in the process of forming our state’s second independent Citizens Redistricting Commission,” said California State Auditor Elaine M. Howle. “As the 2020 Census and the November election approach, we should be reminded of the importance of our state’s process that truly places the power of redistricting in the hands of an independent Commission that carries out its responsibilities in a fair and unbiased way. I’m tremendously proud of the Panel as it continues to carry out its responsibilities of forming this Commission with the utmost thoroughness, transparency, and integrity.”

Upon completing the interviews of the 120 applicants, the Panel will then narrow the pool to 60 of the most qualified applicants—20 Democrats, 20 Republicans, and 20 from neither of those parties. 

By May 15, 2020, the Panel will submit the list of those 60 applicants to the California State Legislature. Legislative leadership has the option of removing up to 24 names from the list. From the remaining list, the California State Auditor will then randomly select the first eight commissioners. Those eight commissioners will select the remaining six to establish the 14-member Commission which will include, in total, five Republicans, five Democrats and four members that are registered as no party preference or with another party.

The 14-member Commission will redraw California’s State Senate, State Assembly, State Board of Equalization, and Congressional districts, based on information gathered during the 2020 census, and must draw the districts in conformity with strict, nonpartisan rules designed to create districts of relatively equal population that will provide fair representation for all Californians.

All Panel meetings are public and are streamed live on the Internet. The meetings are also recorded by a videographer and stenographer, and both the video and transcripts of all meetings are available at https://shapecaliforniasfuture.auditor.ca.gov/arp.html.

For more information on the 2020 Citizens Redistricting Commission application and selection process, please visit ShapeCaliforniasFuture.auditor.ca.gov.

About the 2020 Citizens Redistricting Commission

Every ten years, after the federal government publishes updated census information, California must redraw the boundaries of its Congressional, State Senate, State Assembly, and State Board of Equalization districts. In 2008, California voters passed the Voters FIRST Act authorizing the creation of an independent Commission comprised of 14 members. The 2020 Commission will include five Democrats, five Republicans, and four who are either registered without, or “independent” of, any political party (decline-to-state or no party preference) or with another party. The Commission is responsible for drawing the lines of each district.

The initial and supplemental application periods are closed. The Applicant Review Panel is reviewing application materials and narrowing the applicant pool to a final pool of 60 applicants, which must be submitted to the Legislature by May 15, 2020. A new Commission is anticipated by August 2020. For more information on the 2020 Citizens Redistricting Commission application and selection process, please visit ShapeCaliforniasFuture.auditor.ca.gov.

The California State Auditor is a state entity that is independent of the executive branch and legislative control. The purpose of the California State Auditor is to improve California government by assuring the performance, accountability, and transparency that its citizens deserve. For more information on the California State Auditor, please visit www.auditor.ca.gov.


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