County board begins redistricting process

Board of Supervisors will begin nominating registered voters from each district to redraw the supervisor districts following the 2020 Census

TULARE COUNTY – Tulare County has officially started the process to redraw the political lines determining who lives in, and therefore is eligible to represent, each supervisorial district.

At its Jan. 12 meeting, the Tulare County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved bylaws for the 2021 Advisory Redistricting Commission and the timeline for approving the new political boundaries within the county. The commission will only make recommendations on supervisorial boundaries and will not affect the boundaries of state, federal, municipal or special districts.

The commission will be comprised of 11 registered voters in the county. John Hess, assistant CAO for Tulare County, said 10 of the members of will be selected from each of the five supervisorial districts. Each supervisor will appoint one member from their district and then one member from each district will be randomly selected from the pool of eligible nominees. The 11th member will be selected randomly from all of the remaining applicants regardless of their district of residence.

No specific deadlines were set to close the application process but the board did approve a timeline setting March as the deadline to announce nominees, hold lotteries and appoint committee members. The U.S. Census Bureau must release census data by July 31, 2021 and the Board of Supervisors must adopt new boundaries by Dec. 15, 2021. Prior to being adopted, the county will have to hold one public hearing before maps are drawn and two after maps are drawn between August and September 2021. Each meeting must be held in a different location, described as north, central and south county. Supervisors are scheduled to formally adopt the boundaries at its Oct. 26 meeting in order to give the County Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping sufficient time to integrate new boundaries with precincts, voter information and confirm eligibility in the new districts for the Registrar of Voters. Supervisors will consider the committees recommendation and three alternative plans but have the option of not approving any of the plans and sending it back to the committee for revisions.

The new supervisorial boundaries would take effect in the primary election in June 2022. The California primary was moved up to March in 2020 but has been pushed back to June in 2022 due to delays in the decennial Census count during the pandemic.

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