Provided by LGDR:
development of a plan for the redistricting process.
how the jurisdiction’s population has changed since 2000 and
assess whether the current election district plan meets one
person, one vote, Voting Rights Act, and other requirements;
provide a written report.
revise plans that best meet legal requirements (guided by
our extensive experience with districting and redistricting)
and take into account other jurisdictional and election
precinct boundaries when possible; provide documentation.
meetings with staff/board/citizens' committee; assist with
public outreach, including materials for the public and the
adopted plan, including block equivalency file and maps;
provide information that the Registrar of Voters needs to
Preclearance materials to the U.S. Department of Justice (if
Important Information about
the 2010 Census Redistricting Process:
is the adjustment of boundaries of trustee areas or election
districts within a jurisdiction that may be necessary after
each decennial U.S. Census because of population changes.
This applies to the U.S. House of Representatives, state
legislatures, and local jurisdictions, including community
college districts, K-12 school districts, county boards of
education and supervisors, city councils, water district
boards, hospital district boards, and boards of other types of
special districts. The primary purpose of redistricting is to
insure that the election districts have equal population sizes
and that other legal requirements are met.
When will the
data for evaluating and adjusting districts become available?
The Census Bureau released all redistricting data by April 1, 2011.
It has also released electronic versions of maps needed for redistricting.
Is it possible
that election district boundaries will not need to be adjusted?
It is possible that an analysis of Census 2010 data will show that
no boundary adjustments are required. Such an analysis is most
likely to show that old boundaries are valid if a jurisdiction has
had little population or housing growth and there has been little
change its racial/ethnic mix since 2000.
What are the
federal requirements for redistricting?
There are two federal requirements for redistricting: the “one
person, one vote” requirement; and the requirements of the federal
Voting Rights Act (see below).
What is the "one
person, one vote" legal requirement?
The "one person, one vote" requirement is that election districts
should be nearly equal in their total populations. The definition
of “nearly equal” varies by type of jurisdiction. The population
of an area is defined by the latest U.S. Census count. Note that
children, as well as non-citizens, including undocumented
individuals, are to be counted as part of the total population, as
long as they were counted in the decennial Census. Prison inmates
(convicted felons serving their sentences) may be excluded under
What does the
Voting Rights Act require?
The federal Voting Rights Act is intended to protect the voting
power of certain classes, such as ethnic/racial/language minority
groups. If the population of a protected class is sufficiently
large, geographically compact, and politically cohesive, the law
says that boundaries should be drawn so that members of the group
can elect representatives of their choice. For the purposes of
redistricting, the protected classes today include African
Americans, Asian Americans, native Hawaiians, Latinos/Hispanics,
Native Americans, Alaska Natives, and perhaps language minority
What does the
California Voting Rights Act require?
The California Voting Rights Act affects jurisdictions that elect
representatives at-large; it is not relevant for those that
already elect by single-member district (each official is elected
only by voters in a specific sub-area of the jurisdiction). This
Act was adopted in 2002, and the implications of its provisions
are still being clarified in the courts. Jurisdictions that elect
at-large risk litigation under this Act.
Preclearance and which jurisdictions are required to provide it?
Section 5 of the federal Voting Rights Act requires
that the U.S. Department of Justice or a three-judge panel of the
United States District Court for the District of Columbia "preclear"
or approve any changes in election practices or boundaries before
they may be implemented. Covered jurisdictions include all those
within California’s Kings, Merced, Monterey, and Yuba Counties.
The jurisdiction must establish that the proposed change does not
have a retrogressive purpose (that it does not reduce the power of
groups protected under the Voting Rights Act to elect
representatives of their choice).
traditional redistricting criteria?
Often a jurisdiction’s statutes require that it follow traditional
redistricting criteria that may include:
communities of interest;
identifiable geographic boundaries;
election districts that are compact and contiguous;
the new plan on existing districts to the extent possible;
incumbent elected officials in their own districts; and/or
existing voting precincts when possible.
alternative plans should be developed?
A single draft plan that meets requirements can be presented and
then revised in response to suggestions from the jurisdiction’s
officials or the public, or both. Mapping/redistricting software
makes it possible to generate a variety of plans, although
generally the number should be kept to a minimum to avoid
What are the
deadlines for completing the redistricting process?
is usually a statutory deadline by which an assessment of
compliance with one person, one vote, and Voting Rights Act
requirements, as well as any necessary revision of election
districts, must be completed. For example, for California public
school districts, the state Education Code required completion by
March 1, 2012. For California’s county supervisorial districts
and General Law cities, redistricting had to be completed by
November 1, 2011. Our agreement to do your work will include a
deadline that meets the appropriate requirement.
Jurisdictions that choose to change from at-large elections to
single-member district elections face no legislative deadline.
How much will
redistricting services cost?
Costs depend upon whether boundaries need to be realigned, the
number of plans that are developed, and the number of meetings
required. For further information about a particular
jurisdiction, please contact us.
About LGDR's Redistricting Experience:
Gobalet’s staff members are experts in the use of Census data. We
understand the technical, legal, and political aspects of
redistricting. We are committed professionals who believe our role
is to be objective providers of necessary information. Our
personal styles are suited to consensus building, and we have
helped disparate parties agree on districting plans that met one
person, one vote, Federal Voting Rights Act, and California Voting Rights Act criteria. We work with
county and city planners, elected officials, citizens’ task
forces, and the Registrar of Voters during development and
implementation of redistricting plans.
demographic support during many post-1980, 1990, 2000, 2010 U.S.
Census political districting and redistricting projects. We
provided demographic and geographic information for
decision-making by boards and community groups. We contributed to preclearance documentation (when required) for the United States
Department of Justice. Each of these projects was politically
sensitive, and we worked with incumbents, staff members, and the
public to achieve consensus. Redistricting clients Census included:
Union School District
Community College District
Positas Community College District
Union School District
Hartnell Community College District
Unified School District
Monterey County Board of Education
Monterey County Board of Supervisors
Monterey Peninsula Unified School District
Monterey Peninsula Water Management District
Monterey County Unified School District
Union High School District
City School District
Union High School District
Jacinto Unified School District
Jose Unified School District
Jose/Evergreen Community College District
Center Community College District
Stockton Unified School District
San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District
Hills Community College District
Valley-Mission Community College District
LGDR’s recent redistricting work also involved demographic
support for preclearance submissions to the United States
Department of Justice and demographic analyses connected with
specific voting rights cases. Those projects include:
Rosalinda Avita, et at. v. Tulare Local
Healthcare District, et al.
Valladolid v. San Diego County
United States of America v. Upper San Gabriel Valley
Municipal Water District
Lopez, et al v. Monterey County, et al.
References for our
redistricting work will be provided upon request.