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Nearly 31,000 apply for Citizens Redistricting Commission

Posted: February 17, 2010 7:00 p.m.
Updated: February 17, 2010 9:00 p.m.
 
SACRAMENTO -- Today, the California State Auditor announced that nearly 31,000 Californians applied to be members of the first-ever Citizens Redistricting Commission. The application period closed on Feb. 16 at 5 p.m.

"We've said all along that this was an experiment in direct democracy and, with nearly 31,000 Californians coming forward to apply, there's no doubt this experiment was a huge success," said California State Auditor Elaine M. Howle, whose office is charged with creating the Commission.

"My office noticed a surge in applications after our radio ads began airing a few weeks ago, and that is why I extended the application deadline from Feb. 12 to Feb. 16, but I could not have predicted that nearly 11,000 more Californians would apply by 5 p.m. yesterday. That's good news for democracy...and good news for all of us."

Howle continued, "All of the recent press attention, the statewide radio spots, the print advertising, email blasts, non-profit organizations conducting their own outreach, public service announcements and more has provided a pool of applicants from which to select a commission that reflects California's richness and diversity."

Every 10 years after the census, California goes through the process of redrawing the political districts from which representatives of the State Senate, Assembly and Board of Equalization are elected, but Proposition 11--the Voters FIRST Act--transferred the responsibility from the Legislature to a new 14-member independent commission made up of California citizens.

The Commission application process was open to registered California voters who voted in at least two of the last three general elections and had consistent party affiliation for five years.

"Now we will move into the second phase of this process. Those who have been pre-qualified will be notified that they have progressed into the supplemental application phase and that they must submit a supplemental application by April 2, 2010 to continue in the process," said Howle. "With so many applicants, our Applicant Review Panel's job will be very time-consuming, but we're up for it. It's been an honor to take the process this far, and I thank every single Californian who took the time to apply."

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