With great hullabaloo, Republicans qualified a ballot measure that challenges California’s newly drawn state senate boundaries for the Nov. 6 ballot. But now, they have abandoned the campaign.
That leaves the independent Citizens Redistricting Commission with an unenviable task: Persuading voters to vote “yes” on Proposition 40 and confirm the state senate districts as the commission drew them in 2011.
The Reeps said the commission favored Democrats during the mapping process although they have lost on every legal front.
Here’s what the Redistricting Commission put out on the subject:
Citizens Redistricting Commission
Proponents of Prop 40 Withdraw Support from Referendum
Challenging CRC Senate Maps
Sacramento, CA (July 13, 2012) —
The proponents of Proposition 40 have announced that they have abandoned their campaign and will not be seeking “NO” votes to overturn the certified Senate District maps created by the Commission in 2011.
However, as the proposition is still on the ballot, the majority of Californians will still need to vote “YES” to confirm the certified maps already in use. The Senate maps certified by the Citizens Redistricting Commission on August 15, 2011, have survived a number of legal challenges. In its 7-0 decision earlier this year, the California Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the maps and ordered their use in the June and November elections, stating, “…not only do the Commission-certified Senate districts appear to comply with all of the constitutionally mandated criteria set forth in California Constitution, article XXI, the Commission-certified Senate districts also are a product of what generally appears to have been an open, transparent and nonpartisan redistricting process as called for by the current provisions of article XXI.” The U.S. Department of Justice’s pre-clearance of the Commission’s maps also found them in compliance with the Federal Voting Rights Act in Section 5 counties. Despite these endorsements, should Prop 40 receive a majority of “NO” votes, the Senate maps will need to be redrawn at a significant cost to taxpayers.
The Citizens Redistricting Commission, created when voters passed the “Voters First Act” in 2008 to bring an unprecedented level of transparency and nonpartisanship to the redistricting process, was the first independent body in history to draw California’s voting districts.
“Californians deserve the certainty of knowing their vote will be final” said Commission Vice Chair Jeanne Raya. “Fortunately, the Commission conducted meetings in a very open and transparent manner. Video, transcripts, and handouts are available by visiting www.wedrawthelines.ca.gov. We encourage all interested parties to learn about the process used to draw the certified maps so they can make an informed decision in November.”
More information on the 2011 redistricting process and the subsequent certified maps can be found at www.wedrawthelines.ca.gov.