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Santa Barbara Co. supervisors move forward with plans to form redistricting commission

Santa Barbara County is one step closer to drawing new election maps.

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors met Tuesday to talk about creating a commission to form new district boundaries.

This all comes after voters passed Measure G last year. As part of the measure, an independent commission would be tasked with redrawing supervisor districts based on results from the 2020 Census.During Tuesday’s meeting, the board was given a detailed timeline for how the process would work.

People would be able to apply to become a member of the commission from November 15 of this year through January 31 of next year. Those applications would then be reviewed from February through April 2020 and committee members would be chosen by September 2020.

The 2020 Census is set for April 1, 2020, but population data wouldn’t be released until March 2021.

According to Tuesday’s presentation, the new district maps would be developed from September 2020 through June 2021 and the new plan wouldn’t be released until at least August 2021. Supervisors say if a map was selected immediately, it would still be no earlier than September 2021 before the maps are officially adopted.

Santa Barbara County is broken into five supervisor districts with more than 84,000 residents in each of them. District 3 is the largest geographically and includes several very diverse communities, including Guadalupe, Vandenberg Air Force Base, Buellton, Solvang, and even Isla Vista.

The board voted unanimously Tuesday in favor of moving forward with the redistricting plans.

Voters passed Measure G in 2018, after some people in the county complained about the way voting districts were drawn. The measure proposed an 11-member Independent Redistricting Commission. Seven or more votes would be required before a new district map can be created.

KEYT 2019

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