Posts Tagged: Paul Mitchell
A map illustration of some cities, counties in California. (Photo: Kent Weakley, via Shutterstock)
“Why is this so hard?” That’s what Matt Rexroad, owner of Redistricting Insights, tweeted repeatedly when he saw news that downtown Sacramento City Councilmember Katie Valenzuela faced a recall from residents of the uptown neighborhoods in East Sacramento. The problem: It wouldn’t be a legal recall. But confusion over that fact seemed to drag on for weeks.
An illustration of California cities that will become part of redrawn political districts for the 2022 elections. (Image: jmrainbow, via Shutterstock)
California’s decennial battle to redraw the state’s political boundaries has moved into uncharted territory, a casualty of the pandemic and unprecedented delays in the release of census data. The U.S. Census Bureau recently announced its data – the foundation of political map-making — will be released to all states this year by Sept. 30, a full six months later than the original release date.
A voter casts his ballot in a vote center at L.A.'s Pantages Theatre, Oct. 31, 2020. (Photo: Ringo Chiu, via Shutterstock)
Democrats, who already enjoy an overwhelming lead in California voter registration, now have one more advantage over the state’s beleaguered Republicans. Political Data Inc., California’s preeminent firm supplying information to political types, has announced that it will henceforth only work for “progressives” and Democrats.
A man mails in his ballot in the era of the pandemic. (Photo: Wayne Via, Shutterstock)
Over five million California voters – nearly a quarter of the state’s registered electorate — have returned ballots for the General Election, which is less than two weeks away. This milestone, hit yesterday at 13 days until the election, wasn’t achieved in 2016 until the day before the election and exceeds the entire early by-mail vote in 2018.
Dermonstrators in front of the U.S. Post Office in Torrance protesting federal funding cuts. (Photo: Vince360, via Shutterstock)
Vote-by-mail ballots have been sent to all registered voters in Amador County, with Solano reporting they will be mailing ballots today, while Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego counties — and maybe others – will be mailing next week. These counties are getting ahead of the Oct. 5 deadline for California counties to mail ballots. In other states, meanwhile, voting has been taking place for weeks.
A close-up of part of Northern California from a map of the United States. (Photo: SevenMaps, via Shutterstock)
The California Citizen’s Redistricting Commission has now seated all 14 members that will redraw the state’s legislative, congressional and Board of Equalization seats in 2021. This team is comprised of eight commissioners selected through a random draw among 35 finalists, and the remaining six are chosen through a selection process intended to balance out the commission on a number of factors, including race, ethnicity, gender, geography and skill sets.
Ladera Ranch, census-designated community in southern Orange County. (Photo: bonandbon, via Shutterstock)
A lot is riding on this decennial tally: It affects the way federal funding is distributed and it can have a dramatic impact on the boundaries — and number — of political districts. This time around, California’s congressional seats are on shaky ground. But the uncertainty stems as much from President Trump’s actions as from the long-awaited 2020 census numbers, which have been delayed because of the pandemic.
A portion of California and its key regions in the 2021 redistricting. (Photo: Victor Maschek)
The 2021 redistricting has begun in earnest with the seating of the first eight members of the California Citizens Commission, the so-called “Lucky Eight” because they were seated after a random draw of ping-pong balls. In the quarantine era, this drawing, carried live, likely qualified as riveting entertainment.
Detail of an antique California Bear Flag handerkerchief with detailed Grizzly Bear. Photo by the Bear Flag Museum
California’s Citizens Independent Redistricting Commission is generally regarded as a model of its kind, achieving balance and representation through a carefully constructed mix of quotas, political gamesmanship and random selection. How then, did the first round of new commissioners selected on July 2 (eight of a total of 14) fail to include a single Latino, the state’s largest ethnic group?
Political data expert Paul Mitchell joins John and Tim — remotely, of course — on the Capitol Weekly Podcast to talk about the mechanics of a vote-by-mail election in November, how COVID-19 is impacting the prospects for redistricting, the census and what he learned by turning 50 while on quarantine.