The California State Auditor, Elaine M. Howle, announced today that nearly 2,200 tentatively eligible applicants submitted a supplemental application to be a part of the 14-member 2020 Citizens Redistricting Commission (Commission). The supplemental application period closed on Sunday, October 20 at 11:59 p.m. concluding months of outreach to eligible applicants throughout California. Hundreds of required letters of recommendation have been pouring in all week and still need to be processed in order for the supplemental applications to be considered complete. Thus, final numbers of “complete applications” are not yet available.
“I applaud the thousands of Californians who submitted a supplemental application to continue in the process to become one of 14 members of our State’s second Citizens Redistricting Commission,” said Howle. “I am confident that from this group of Californians the Applicant Review Panel will create a pool of highly qualified and talented potential commissioners. The Panel has thousands of pages of application materials to sift through over the next several weeks—a tall order—but we are glad to do the work and set California up for a successful redistricting process.”
The Applicant Review Panel (Panel) will review the applicant qualifications and identify 120 of the most qualified applicants, which will be evenly divided into three sub-pools according to party, or no party, affiliation. The Panel will then personally interview the 120 applicants in Sacramento, California. From the 120 applicants who are interviewed, the panel will select 60 of the most qualified applicants, again evenly divided into three sub-pools according to party, or no party affiliation.
The Panel then will present the 60 names to four legislative leaders (the President pro Tempore of the Senate, the Minority Floor Leader of the Senate, the Speaker of the Assembly and the Minority Floor Leader of the Assembly) for review. Each of these legislative leaders may remove up to two applicants from each of the sub-pools.
The final applicant pool is then sent to the California State Auditor, who randomly draws from the names remaining in the three sub-pools: three applicants who are Democrats, three applicants who are Republicans and two applicants who are either registered without, or “independent” of, any political party (decline-to-state or no party preference) or with another party. These first eight commissioners will complete the selection process by selecting the final six members of the Commission.
Working together, the Commission will approve four maps: one for the Congressional districts, one for State Senate districts, one for the State Assembly districts, and one for the State Board of Equalization districts. Once the Commission has approved the four final maps, the maps are certified by the Secretary of State.
“This moment of direct democracy is historic. For only the second time in history, Californians have a chance to serve on the front lines of shaping California’s Congressional, State Legislative, and Board of Equalization districts. The work of this Commission will be in effect for 10 years, which is a tremendous opportunity to make real change,” said Howle. “This is a once-in-a-decade opportunity, and it’s been an honor to be a part of it.”
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 has begun reviewing application materials submitted by tentatively eligible applicants during the supplemental application period. 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.