Each redistricting dataset merges the electoral data the SWDB collected and processed over the preceding decade with the most current census data (PL94-171). The result is a census block level dataset that allows for longitudinal analysis of electoral data over time on the same unit of analysis. Electoral data consist of the Statements of Vote (SOV) and Statements of Registration (SOR) for each statewide election. These data are collected from the Registrars of Voters for each of the 58 California counties with each election.
The SWDB collects the Statement of Vote and the Statement of Registration along with various geography files from each of the 58 counties for every statewide election. The Statement of Vote is a precinct level dataset and precincts in California change frequently between elections. The goal of the SWDB is to make election data available that can be compared over time, on the same unit of analysis – a precinct, a census block or a census tract.
After the Federal Census is conducted in 2020 and released in 2021, electoral districts will be redrawn in the State of California (and in all jurisdictions that have district-based election systems). This process is called redistricting, and it occurs to balance the populations in each district based on the Census data.
Most states give the power of redrawing the districts to the state legislature. Some states, like California, conduct redistricting differently. In 2008, California voters passed the Voters First Act. The Voters First Act mandates the creation of an independent Commission to redraw district lines. The Commission, also called the California Redistricting Commission or CRC, is comprised of five Democrats, five Republicans, and four members who are either registered to vote with another party or as Decline-to-State. There are 14 Commissioners in all. When the 2010 Census data were released, the first ever California Redistricting Commission conducted the 2011 redistricting, establishing California’s first sets of Commission-drawn State Legislative, Congressional, and Board of Equalization districts.
As the U.S. Census in 2020 approaches, the process of forming the new CRC is starting with the application process to select new Commissioners. To be eligible to serve on CRC, you must:
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