County of San Diego Independent Redistricting Commission
Help shape San Diego County’s future! Join the County of San Diego’s first Independent Redistricting Commission.
The County of San Diego is looking for qualified people who are interested in redrawing the boundaries for the County’s five supervisorial districts. District lines can shape a community’s ability to elect the representative of their choice.
Redistricting takes place every 10 years after the federal census. District boundaries for federal, state and local elected offices are redrawn to reflect new population data and shifting populations.
The County’s district boundaries will change so the five County supervisors elected to represent those districts each serve about 650,000 residents and reflects the County’s diverse population.
Fourteen people will be selected for the County's Independent Redistricting Commission. The process will act independently from the influence of the Board of Supervisors and reasonably represent the County’s diversity.
Click to subscribe to updates about the Independent Redistricting Commission.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are helpful frequently asked questions about the process. If you have additional questions, please e-mail email@example.com.
- What is redistricting?
Every ten years, after the federal census, district boundaries for federal, state and local elected offices are redrawn to reflect new population data and shifting populations. This process is called redistricting.
The County of San Diego must redraw the boundaries of its five supervisorial districts. The redrawing ensures that the five County supervisors elected to represent the five supervisorial districts are reflective of the County’s diverse population. How and where district lines are drawn can shape a community’s ability to elect the representative of their choice.
Each supervisor is responsible for representing approximately 650,000 residents of San Diego County in a specific geographic area. To learn more about the County of San Diego, the County supervisors and their districts, click here.
To comply with the County Charter, the supervisorial district boundaries must be drawn to include unincorporated territory in at least three of the five districts. Two of the districts must include geographic area that is mainly outside of the incorporated cities.
- What are the incorporated cities and what is unincorporated territory in San Diego County?
San Diego County includes 18 incorporated cities. Each city has its own municipal government represented by a mayor and city council members.
For a map and list of the incorporated cities in San Diego County, click here.
Unincorporated territory is land outside the boundaries of the 18 incorporated cities. Much of the unincorporated territory is located in rural areas in the eastern and northern portions of the county. The County of San Diego serves as the primary local government agency in unincorporated areas.
For a map and list of unincorporated communities in San Diego County, click here.
Five supervisorial districts cover the county. The incorporated cities govern their own populations but the County Board of Supervisors is responsible for some operations that affect residents in both the incorporated and unincorporated areas. For example, public health, restaurant inspections, street maintenance, planning and development, etc.
- Who is responsible for deciding the new supervisorial district boundaries?
Under a new state law (Elections Code Section 21550), the responsibilities for drawing the new district boundaries will be led by the County’s Independent Redistricting Commission. Fourteen San Diego County residents willing to volunteer their time will be selected from a list of applicants. The selection process is designed to produce a commission that is independent from the influence of the Board of Supervisors and reasonably representative of the County’s diversity.
- How do I know if I’m qualified to serve on the commission?
Under California Elections Code, Division 21, Chapter 6.5 (Sections 21550-21553), commissioners must meet the following qualifications:
- Be a resident of the County of San Diego.
- Be a voter who has been continuously registered in the County of San Diego and held the same political party preference or no party preference for at least five years before being appointed to the commission.
- Has cast a vote in at least one of the last three statewide elections.
- Within the past 10 years, the applicant nor an immediate family member has done any of the following:
- Been appointed to, elected to, or run as a candidate for office at the local, county, state or federal level representing the County of San Diego.
- Served as an employee of, or paid consultant for, an elected representative at the local, state or federal level representing the County of San Diego.
- Served as an employee of, or paid consultant for, a candidate for office at the local, state or federal level representing the County of San Diego.
- Served as an officer, employee, or paid consultant of a political party or as an appointed member of a political party central committee.
- Been a registered federal, state or local lobbyist.
- Must have experience that demonstrates analytical skills relevant to the redistricting process and voting rights. Must also possess an ability to comprehend and apply the applicable state and federal legal requirements.
- Must have experience that demonstrates an ability to be impartial.
- Must have experience that demonstrates an appreciation for the diverse demographics and geography of the County of San Diego.
Additionally, under California Elections Code, Division 21, Chapter 6.5 (Sections 21550-21553), the political party preferences of the commission members, shall be as proportional as possible to the total number of voters who are registered with each political party in the County of San Diego or those who do not have a party preference, as determined by registration at the most recent statewide election.
However, the political party preferences of the commission members are not required to be exactly the same as the proportion of political party preferences among the registered voters of the County. At least one commission member shall reside in each of the five existing supervisorial districts of the Board of Supervisors.
- I want to help shape the County’s future. How do I apply for the commission?
The County will make the application available May 18 and accept completed forms through July 31.
You may drop off your completed application at the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors office, email the form or send it through the U.S. Postal Service. Postmarks will not be accepted.
Option 1: Mail or drop off the signed paper copy of the completed application at the address below:
County of San Diego
Clerk of the Board of Supervisors
1600 Pacific Highway, Room 402
San Diego, CA 92101-2471
Option 2: Sign your completed application, scan it, and email it to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- What is the timeline for the selection process?
May 18 – July 31, 2020: Application submission period
Aug. 3 – 25, 2020: The Clerk of the Board of Supervisors reviews applications and selects the 60 most qualified applicants.
Aug. 26 – Sept. 25, 2020: The Clerk of the Board of Supervisors posts the names of the 60 most qualified applicants online.
Oct. 13, 2020: At a regularly scheduled Board of Supervisors meeting, the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors conducts a random drawing to pick eight commissioners. The first round chooses one commissioner for each of the five supervisorial districts. A second round selects three commissioners from the pool of remaining applicants.
Oct. 22 and Nov. 5, 2020: The eight randomly selected commissioners meet to select six more from the pool of qualified applicants to form a commission with 14 people.
- If I’m selected, what is the time commitment?
The commission is subject to the Ralph M. Brown Open Meeting Act, which requires that any meeting must be conducted in public. The number of public meetings, their dates and times are entirely at the discretion of the commission.
Under State law, the commission must conduct at least seven public hearings in 30 days, with at least one public hearing held in each of the five supervisorial districts before new district boundaries are redrawn.
The commission must complete maps of the new districts by Aug. 15, 2021.
Also, please note that Elections Code Section 21553 mandates that a commission member is ineligible to hold elective public office at the federal, state, county or city level in California for five years after their commission appointment. A commission member is also ineligible to hold appointive federal, state or local public office, to serve as paid staff for, or as a paid consultant to, the Board of Equalization, the Congress, the Legislature, or any individual legislator, or to register as a federal, state, or local lobbyist in this state for three years after their commission appointment.
- Who do I contact if I have questions?
Please contact the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors at (619) 531-5434 or email email@example.com.