Several politicians are affected by the redistricting of the congressional and district voting blocs. Some of them are likely to lose because portions of their population are being placed in other regions. At the same time, some will have difficulty in re-election since they are placed in the same districts as other vibrant politicians.
Representatives Mike Levin of San Diego, Katie Porter of Irvine, and Josh Harder of Modesto have a high probability of losing since the districts they represent will shift to majority Republican voter regions, yet Democrats. Republican representatives Mike Garcia of Los Angeles and Devin Nunes of Central Valley will also have difficulty since their districts turn into Democratic-strong voter population areas. Mike Garcia of the Republican Party will probably lose Simi Valley, which has always been a Republican stronghold.
Changed district lines in Democrat representatives Josh Harder of Turlock and John Garamendi of Walnut Grove make their re-election ambitions more difficult. An instance where incumbents might contest the same congressional seat is Republicans David Valadao of Hanford and Devin Nunes of Tulare. However, the commission maintains that its mandate is to ensure the fair election of leaders; thus, the location or re-election of incumbents is not part of their task.
After the 2012 redistricting cycle, the California Citizens Redistricting Commission redrew California’s electoral map. They redrew the 45th Congressional District after the 2010 census; it reflected shared social and economic prospects. The redrawn 45th Congressional district included Irvine, Tustin, Rancho Santa Margarita, Mission Viejo, and Orange County cities of Orange and Anaheim Hills (Macias 4). As a result, many policy preferences and voter district boundaries changed.
California voters, in 2008 and 2010, approved ballot changes that redesigned decennial redistricting. To reduce the influence of political partisans and incumbents, the Voters First Act of 2008 tasked a 14-member seating of California citizens to redraw districts. In 2010, the Voters First Act for Congress added part of the commission’s US House District lines’ authority (Dunham 6). Candidates ran in districts drawn on the map for the first time in 2012.
The California Citizens Redistricting Commission’s maps strengthen the electoral power of Latino voters. The state implemented demographic changes in congressional and legislative districts over a decade ago. The commission first created equal-sized congressional districts of approximately 761 000 people then designed the voting maps to cater to minorities- in compliance with the Voting Rights Act. The maps support significant Latino voting populations in over ten congressional districts. California also loses a congressional seat because of relatively slow population growth, as recorded in the 2020 census.
Selective or partisan redistricting often leads to raised partisan disproportionality and increased incumbency re-election. According to Katz (4), partisan gerrymandering in the districting process leads to partisan disproportionality. Partisan disproportionality implies disparity between the ratio of seats a party wins in the legislature to the vote percentage received generally by the same party. Latino-populated districts had an increased voter turnout following the previous redistricting. The Latinos feel represented in a majority-minority district; thus, they vote more. According to Mireles (18), voters feel more politically involved when their racial representation is increased.
The Governorship and upper and lower state legislatures can necessitate monitoring partisan desires in the redistricting process. That process usually incentivizes the establishment of incumbency safeguarding gerrymanders. In 2002, opposite party control of Democrats on the Texas House of Representatives ensured Republicans did not enact a partisan maximization gerrymander (Katz 6). Consequently, the Republicans invoked a special session of redistricting in 2003 as earlier proposed. The US redistricting policy supports opposite party control over actors with constitutional responsibility to redistrict; therefore, minimizing discriminatory sectarian redistricting in any particular state.
The US law strengthens people of color by protecting them from voting systems that strain their political voice or diminish their voting strength. Such voting systems include at-large elections that proved to be inefficient in promoting democracy within the United States. Many cities struggle to erase the California Rights to Vote Act of 2001, which poses many legal challenges. The United States employs seven different election plans; there are only two: at-large elections and district-based elections in California. Following the Voting Rights Act of 1965, many scholars observe that district elections offer better results in minority representation than at-large elections (Mireles 10). However, if the shift from at-large elections to district-based voting does not increase minority representation, the change may prove counterproductive.
Gerrymandering and gerrymandering are means for those in power to retain their dockets. Gerrylaundering is a concept that reflects how makers of maps promote their desired political stance by using the existing map’s fundamental aspects. Gerrymandering refers to the intentional altering of boundaries, manipulating them to favor their political supremacy. According to Yablon (4), gerrymandering involves three common techniques: packing, shacking and cracking. Packing is the concentration of voters into fewer districts than they would initially control. On the other hand, shaking is positioning several incumbents from the opposite party into one section. Finally, cracking involves the separation of some disfavored voters to prevent them from being an electoral majority.
Redistricting of electoral regions affects election turnouts, especially for the incumbents. The incumbents are re-elected due to their familiarity with districts, which increases their chances of winning elections. According to Katz (7), partisanship in elections causes high rates of incumbency re-election, as was the case with the 2002 California Redistricting, which was characterized by high levels of gerrymandering. Generally, redistricting impacts the electoral system both at a regional level and even nationally.
Prediction for the future
Redistricting also impacts voter turnout; essentially, it could lead to a lower voter turnout. Partisan redistricting in the United States of America discourages voter turnout by reducing electoral competitiveness. Voters with a high cost of access to information typically do not vote. The cost of information rises more when voters do not know their incumbents. The phenomenon is common in partisan gerrymanders where non-contiguous districts reduce the name recognition of an incumbent.
Voters opt to stay home and not vote due to lower electoral incentives, low electoral competition, and high cost of information. In addition, their inadequate recognition of incumbents demotivates them from voting (Katz 8). Independent electoral commissions established earlier to motivate just voting ought to be revamped and supported to curb the partisan influence in redistricting.
The US Redistricting policy has always had diverse effects on the American electoral process. The incumbents face challenges with being re-elected because some of their district boundary lines were altered. Gerrymandering and gerrymandering are standard practices in the redistricting process. Boundaries are changed to favor the incumbent. Nevertheless, for the coming 2022 elections, the California congressional remapping will probably leave some candidates out of the ballot, while some will have to get different options politically.
Clinton-Republican Congressional District, and Alexandra Macias. “Flipping the District: An Analysis of Voter Registration Trends and Public Opinion in.” Web.
Dunham, James James Wolcott. Dynamic responsiveness in the American states: legislators, constituents, and organized interests; and, Do Legislators Respond to Redistricting?: positioning in the California Legislature. Diss. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2018.
Katz, Austin. “How do SMD redistricting institutions affect Partisan Disproportionality, Incumbency Re-election and Voter Turnout?.” (2021). Web.
Mireles, Jerry. The Transition from At-Large Elections to District Elections within Southern California. Diss. California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, 2020. Web.
Simon, Dennis, Barbara Palmer, and Sara Villarreal. “Gendermandering: The Impact of Redistricting on the Success of Women Candidates.” Web.
Yablon, Robert. “Gerrylaundering.” Univ. of Wisconsin Legal Studies Research Paper 1708 (2021).