2021 REDISTRICTING PROCESS
SELECTING THE 2021 CALIFORNIA CITIZENS REDISTRICTING COMMISSION
The process to start a new Citizen’s Redistricting Commission is beginning. Below are the critical pieces of information contained in a timeline format. The State Auditor’s Office will set a website to collect applications. The site should be up in about 3 weeks.
Stage 1 Initial Application – June 10 thru August 9, 2019
Stage 2 Supplemental Application – August 11 thru September 11, 2019
- Persons interested in serving have 30 days to submit a supplemental application. This entails writing an essay detailing why they want to be on the commission and references.
Stage 3 Applicant Review Panel – September 12 thru February 14, 2020
- State Auditor appoints a panel of three auditors (one Democrat, one Republican, one Independent), each with 10 years or more experience, to review the credentials of all applicants who filed their supplemental material.
The auditor panel has until February 14, 2020 to narrow the list of applicants down to 120 people – 40 Democrats, 40 Republicans & 40 Independents.
Stage 4 Interview 120 applicants – February 18 thru April 20, 2020
- Public interviews of 120 applicants
Stage 5 Select top 60 applicants – April 21 thru May 8, 2020
- List of 20 Democrats, Republicans & Independents sent to Legislature
Stage 6 Legislative Strike Process – May 15 thru June 30, 2020
- Each Legislative Leader gets to strike two applicants from each pool = up to 24 strikes in total.
Stage 7 State Auditor Gets Remaining applicants – By July 5, 2020
- State Auditor selects first 8 members of the commission
- Choices are made randomly by ping-pong ball drawing
Stage 8 The 8 Members of Commission choose the final 6 Members.
- By August 15, 2020, the new Citizen’s Redistricting commission is set
- They have one-year to draw the new maps.
Commissioner Screening Criteria
According to the State Auditor, the Redistricting Review Panel is limited to three criteria when determining the qualifications of Commission Applicants. These criteria are:
- Ability to be impartial
- Appreciation of California’s diverse demographics and geography
- Possess relevant analytical skills
Ability to Be Impartial
According to the Auditor, the Act itself places a high priority on the first criteria, ability to be impartial. As stated in the Regulations promulgated by the Auditor in 2009, “As discussed previously, commission members must review large amounts of information as well as receive public testimony from individuals and communities. In doing so, we believe that a commission member must have the capacity or willingness to set certain considerations aside to evaluate the information he or she is receiving with an open mind and to make decisions that are fair.” Thus based on this standard, the auditor concluded that the candidate would need to have the capacity and willingness to set aside the following:
- Personal interests, including personal financial interests.
- Biases for or against any individuals, groups, or geographic areas.
- Support for or opposition to any candidates, political parties, or social or political causes.
Appreciation of California’s Diverse Demographics and Geography
In identifying 60 of the most qualified applicants, the panel will need to look for experiences that demonstrate an applicant has an appreciation for California’s diverse demographics and geography. An applicant may demonstrate this through a description of his or her appreciation for California’s diverse demographics and geography in his or her application and/or during the course of an interview, and through occupational, academic, and life experiences. Those experiences may include, but are not limited to:
- Working on a project of statewide or local concern that affected Californians of different backgrounds and from different areas, resulting in an acceptable outcome to those Californians.
- Studying voting behavior of Californians in various areas of the state for the purpose of improving the electoral process.
- Traveling throughout the state and meeting with a broad range of individuals to build consensus on some issue of statewide concern.
Relevant Analytical Skills
The regulations also consider ways in which applicants can demonstrate that they have the relevant analytical skills. While the Act does not require individuals to possess specific knowledge or experience, prior experience may demonstrate that a candidate possesses the relevant analytical skills. Thus, an applicant may demonstrate that he or she possesses relevant analytical skills by describing those skills in his or her application or during the course of an interview, or through occupational, academic, and life experiences that involved the use of those skills. These experiences may include, but are not be limited to:
- Compiling information from many sources, including statistical reports, expert opinions, and comments by members of the public, in order to develop an understanding of an issue.
- Assessing the value of information received from various sources to determine how much weight should be given to certain information versus other information when making a decision.
- Using expert advice, particularly legal advice, to make a decision.
- Participating in group decision-making as a member of a group whose mission was to produce a report, plan, or other work product addressing an issue.