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FORUM: Redistricting demands independent commission

Publication Date: 
August 08, 2011
Source: 
North County Times
Author: 
Steve Danon

Professor Pamela Karlan spoke with Steve Danon of the North County Times on how having elected officials establish their own districts allows representatives to choose their constituents.

Every 10 years, after the federal census, the County of San Diego is called upon to redistrict the five supervisorial districts to equalize population.

Section 400.1 of the County Charter allows members of the Board of Supervisors to determine their own districts. I read in the North County Times on June 17 that County Supervisor Pam Slater-Price, "support(s) using an independent commission to redraw the county lines."

...

While this will not remove politics completely from the process, it will eliminate the system of elected officials establishing their own districts. Pamela Karlan, professor of public interest law at Stanford Law School, said, "It used to be that the idea was, once every two (or four) years voters elected their representatives, and now instead, it's every 10 years the representatives choose their constituents."