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2020 California Citizens Redistricting Commission votes to petition CA Supreme Court for January 14, 2022 deadline

Last night, the 2020 California Citizens Redistricting Commission (Commission) unanimously voted (14-0) to petition the California Supreme Court to make January 14, 2022 the deadline to submit final maps to the Secretary of State. The motion read:

Motion to seek an order from the CA State Supreme Court confirming that the calculation of the “additional federal delay” as used in the Padilla decision is to be based upon the date that the Statewide Database is able to reformat the legacy dataset into a usable format for building the statewide redistricting database, with a request for an additional extension of the deadline for approval and certification of the final maps to January 14, 2022 to allow for meaningful public input to account for the annual holiday period.

“Last night’s vote was the result of countless hours of deliberation and public input on the deadline the Commission would pursue with the California Supreme Court to submit final maps. We listened to community members who expressed concern over lower participation rates during the winter holidays, as well as election officials concerned about the deadline’s impact on the 2022 elections. We are moving forward with a petition to the California Supreme Court to make January 14, 2022 the deadline to certify the final maps,” stated Commission Chair Russell Yee.

The Commission also approved a motion asking the California Supreme Court to allow for a three-day notice for public input meetings, during the final fifteen days prior to map finalization, instead of the current three-day notice period allowed in August.

The California Supreme Court ruled on July 17, 2020 (Legislature of CA v Alex Padilla S262530) that the Commission should have until December 15, 2021 to submit its maps to the California Secretary of State due to the delay in release of census results. If census results were received after July 31, 2021, the Commission’s deadline would be adjusted accordingly. The U.S. District Court recently dismissed an Ohio lawsuit that challenged the delayed release of redistricting data and asked that the U.S. Census Bureau comply with the April 1 statutory deadline. During the Ohio lawsuit, the U.S. Census Bureau made the determination that it would provide a legacy format summary of the P.L. 94-171 datasets, with all geographic units and all substantive data tabulations, by mid to late August. If this timeline remains intact, the Commission will receive census data by mid to end of September as data needs to be further prepared by Statewide Database and to allow for the state’s incarcerated population to be counted with the communities of their last known residence.

Every 10 years, after the federal government publishes updated census information, California must redraw the boundaries of its electoral districts so that the state’s population is evenly allocated among the new districts.

In 2008, California voters passed the Voters First Act, authorizing the creation of the independent California Citizens Redistricting Commission to draw new State Senate, State Assembly, and State Board of Equalization district lines. In 2010, the Voters First Act for Congress gave the Commission the responsibility of drawing new Congressional districts following every census.

For more information, please visit WeDrawTheLinesCA.org.

This article was released by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission.