SACRAMENTO, CA - Re-districting happens every 10 years. It affects how all of us are represented in local government.
Proposition 27 on the Nov. 2 ballot looks at who should draw the district maps. Right now, a state commission of 14 registered voters establishes new district boundaries for the state Assembly, state Senate, and Board of Equalization. Prop 27 will eliminate the redistricting commission. Vote 2010 - California races
"A vote for Prop 27 would be a vote to eliminate that citizens commission and put the job back in the hands of state legislators," said Erik Engstrom, a professor of political science at UC Davis.
Politicians often worry about how those lines are drawn because it can affect the balance of power.
"When you are redrawing boundaries, it's affecting the partisan makeup of districts. So it affects who holds power in Sacramento and who holds power in Washington, D.C." said Engstrom.
Prop 27 says giving the power back to state legislators and dissolving the citizen redistricting commission could save a million dollars over the next year. While the measure eliminates the state citizen panel and gives re-districting authority to elected officials, it also repeals Proposition 11 which voters passed in 2008.
Proposition 20 is a competing ballot measure. It removes lawmakers from the redistricting process and keeps the power with the 14-member commission.
If both Proposition 20 and 27 are approved by voters, whichever one receives more "yes" votes will be the only one to take effect.
By Suzanne Phan, firstname.lastname@example.org