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, electoral districts will be redrawn in the state of California (and everywhere that has districts). 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 legislative and congressional districts to the state legislature. Some states, like California, conduct statewide 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 have indicated no party preference. 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 State Legislative, Congressional, and Board or Equalization districts that were not drawn by the state legislature or a court-appointed special master.
As the U.S. Census in 2020 approaches, the CRC is forming again with all new Commissioners. To be eligible to serve on CRC, you must:
The application period for new Commission members is now open and will run through August 9, 2019. While much of the work the CRC will perform will be completed by September 2021, the new Commissioners will serve until 2030. You can find links to preview the initial application and instructions or apply for the Commission here. For more information about the application process and how Commissioners are selected, please see this graphic and this flowchart. Please visit this website to learn more about the 2020 California Redistricting Commission. To sign up for email updates about Commission activity, fill out the form on the bottom of this page or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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