Redistricting - Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is redistricting?
Redistricting is the process of redefining the geographic boundaries of individual election units, such as supervisorial districts. It is the process by which local government ensures that one person’s vote carries the same weight as that of any other person. The County of Colusa is governed by a legislative Board of Supervisors, who are elected into office from one of five (5) districts. Federal and State law requires the Board of Supervisors to adjust the boundaries of these legislative districts at least every ten years to make certain that districts are as nearly as equal in population.
2. Why are we redistricting now?
Census figures must be used to obtain population figures and help determine the placement of the boundaries. In April 2010, the U.S. Census Bureau conducted a census, the goal of which was to count every man, woman and child residing in the United States. Redistricting will be based on the results of this process.
3. What criteria are used for Redistricting?
The overarching criteria is “one person-one vote”. In order to achieve “one person-one vote”, the California Elections Code requires that the districts be as equal in population as possible. Other criteria that may be considered are:
4. Why is Redistricting important to me?
- Communities of Interest: What brings people together? Shared interests, the ability of people to relate to one another, social, political, economic interests; the “intangibles” that form the foundation of a community.
- Compactness: It refers again to the ability of people to relate to one another and to their representative, and for their representative to relate to their community. It also speaks to relationships that are facilitated by shared interests and by membership in a political community, including a city and county.
- Respect for other political district lines, such as cities and school districts.
- Geography and topography: Consider natural barriers, such as the mountains and rivers. These form natural barriers.
- Contiguity: Districts cannot be divided into two to more pieces. The entire district must have one continuous boundary.
Redistricting provides an opportunity for you to make your vote count! You have an opportunity to provide input into a process that will determine who represents you as your County supervisor. As communities of interest are identified by the community, the Board of Supervisors has the opportunity to preserve the integrity of these communities of interest by keeping them in a single district, thereby preserving their voting strength. In other words, you will be more likely to have a supervisor who will best represent your interests.
5. How can I be involved in the process?
There are many ways to become involved in the process.
6. Who makes the final decision on how the lines will be drawn?
- Send us an email.
- Attend a community meeting.
- Come to Board hearings.
California Elections Code section 21500 requires the Board of Supervisors to draw the boundaries of county supervisorial districts.
7. Who is responsible for the redistricting of state legislative and federal congressional districts?
Proposition 11, approved by the voters in 2008, transferred the authority and responsibility for state legislative redistricting from the State Legislature to an independent commission known as the Citizen’s Redistricting Commission. Proposition 20, approved by the voters in 2010, transferred the authority and responsibility for federal congressional redistricting to the Citizen’s Redistricting Commission. The County Board of Supervisor’s has no authority or responsibility for the establishment of state legislative or federal congressional district boundaries. The Citizen’s Redistricting Commission’s has no authority or responsibility for the establishment of county supervisorial districts. In general, the same legal criteria governing the establishment of supervisorial district boundaries govern the establishment of state legislative and federal congressional district boundaries.