California voters will evaluate Proposition 11 this fall, which seeks to replace the existing process of redrawing political boundaries for congressional, senatorial, assembly and State Board of Equalization offices. At the heart of this initiative is a growing perception that the current process for drawing these maps is rife with conflict of interest—particularly when legislators draw the very districts they will represent, allowing them to select their constituency.
This paper will introduce an abbreviated history of redistricting in California and various attempts at reform over the past several decades. The paper will also summarize the current initiative’s major elements and address some key issues that voters should consider in this debate. The goal of this effort is to ensure that voters can make a well-informed decision.