California Proposition 11

Redistricting

Summary:

Changes authority for establishing state office boundaries from elected representatives to commission. Establishes multilevel process to select commissioners from registered voter pool. Commission comprised of Democrats, Republicans, and representatives of neither party. Fiscal Impact: Potential increase in state redistricting costs once every ten years due to two entities performing redistricting. Any increase in costs probably would not be significant.

For me, this is the most complicated issue on the ballot this election cycle. You have to be a dedicated California state policy wonk to truly grasp this one, and I am not.

Currently, the legislature draws districts every 10 years. Supporters of this proposition claim this to be a conflict of interest, because districts tend to get drawn in a way that favors reelection of those in the legislature. That is a fair assessment.

The proposal is to establish a new commission of registered voters who will be responsible for drawing the voting districts, with the exception of U.S. House of Representatives districts, which would continue to be drawn by the legislature.

The process through which people would be appointed to this new commission is mind boggling, and I won’t attempt an explanation. There are valid concerns however, that the commission won’t reflect the makeup of the constituents in the districts that will be required to draw.

In all likelihood, the breakdown of politicians along party lines is unlikely to change noticeably, regardless of how the districts are drawn. I tend to agree that reform is desirable, but it is unclear to me how this proposal will bring that about.

I’m voting No on Prop 11.

Additional information is available at Ballotpedia.

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