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Restoring the Competitive Edge: California's Need for Redistricting Reform and the Likely Impact of Proposition 77

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Publication Date: September 2006

Publisher(s): Rose Institute of State and Local Government

Author(s): Douglas Johnson; Elise Lampe; Justin Levitt; Andrew Lee

Topic: Politics (Elections and voting)

Type: Report

Coverage: California

Abstract:

This report from the Rose Institute of State and Local Government at Claremont McKenna College finds that Proposition 77 would result in a significant increase in competition in California elections. The Institute's research finds that Proposition 77, if enacted by voters, is likely to create ten competitive Congressional districts, four new competitive Assembly districts, and seven new competitive State Senate seats. The number of safe Democratic and Republican seats is likely to be reduced evenly: by five each for Congress and the Assembly, and by four Democratic and three Republican seats in the State Senate. The report also finds that districts drawn under Proposition 77 would create two new Latino voting-age-majority districts; significantly reduce the divisions of counties compared to California's current districts; and greatly increase district compactness. The report goes on to examine the threats to representative democracy under the incumbent-protection gerrymanders of 2001.