SACRAMENTO, Calif., June 14 /PRNewswire/ -- The Citizens Redistricting Commission's Applicant Review Panel (ARP) has taken its first step in eliminating 3,924 applicants who completed the Supplemental Application for California's first Citizens Redistricting Commission (Commission) in a public meeting. Now, 622 of the most qualified applicants remain in the applicant pool.
The ARP's public meeting process includes a review of the Supplemental Application and the letters of recommendation submitted by each qualified applicant, as well as consideration of any public comments received. The ARP has given itself until August 2010, to narrow the pool of applicants to 120 of the most qualified, from an original applicant group of 4,546.
The ARP noted that they are mindful of the careful attention they must continue to give the process, given the quality and caliber of the applications received. With 622 individuals remaining in the applicant pool, there continues to be a strong number of diverse applicants from throughout California from which only 14 will ultimately be selected.
"This meeting of the Applicant Review Panel represents a significant milestone in the process of creating California's first independent redistricting commission," said Elaine M. Howle, California State Auditor. "The ARP has done a thorough job of considering the qualifications of each applicant and we're extremely pleased with all that has happened in this process since we began the work of creating the Citizens Redistricting Commission last year. The panel is progressing the way the voters expected it to when they approved Proposition 11 in 2008, and we are confident that they are forming a pool of qualified applicants that will provide fair representation for all Californians."
Those applicants selected as 120 of the most qualified will be categorized into three sub pools of 40 registered Democrats, 40 registered Republicans, and 40 who are registered as decline-to-state or with another party. Next those applicants will participate in a personal interview process, to be conducted at upcoming public meetings of the ARP.
The application process for the Citizens Redistricting Commission opened on December 15, 2009, and closed on February 16, 2010. More than 30,000 registered voters initially applied to serve on the Commission. The supplemental application for those deemed tentatively eligible was due on April 19. Interviews will be held for 120 of the most qualified applicants and then the ARP will then narrow the pool to 60 of the most qualified applicants—20 Democrats, 20 Republicans, and 20 from neither of those parties.
By October 1, 2010, the ARP will submit the list of those 60 applicants to the California State Legislature. Legislative leadership has the option of removing up to 24 names from the list. From that list, the California State Auditor's office will then randomly select the first eight commissioners. Those eight commissioners will select the remaining six to establish the 14-member commission which will include, in total, five Republicans, five Democrats and four members that are registered as decline-to-state or with another party.
The 14-member Commission will redraw California's Senate, Assembly and State Board of Equalization districts, based on information gathered during the 2010 census, and must draw the districts in conformity with strict, nonpartisan rules designed to create districts of relatively equal population that will provide fair representation for all Californians.
All ARP meetings are public and are streamed live on the Internet. The meetings are also recorded by a videographer and stenographer, and both the video and transcripts of all meetings are available at http://www.wedrawthelines.ca.gov/application.html.
For more information please visit www.WeDrawTheLines.ca.gov, or if you have questions, please call (866) 356-5217.
SOURCE California State Auditor's Office