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November 6, 2018 — California General Election

— Independent Redistricting Commission —

County
November 6, 2018 —California General Election

Santa Barbara County
Measure H2018 - Majority Approval Required

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Election Results

Failed

43,903 votes yes (33.06%)

88,901 votes no (66.94%)

  • 100% of precincts reporting (263/263).

INITIATIVE TO CREATE A COUNTY OF SANTA BARBARA INDEPENDENT REDISTRICTING COMMISSION Shall the measure adding Section 2-10.91 to the Santa Barbara County Code to create an Independent Redistricting Commission to adjust the boundaries of the supervisorial districts be adopted?

Impartial analysis / Proposal

This measure was placed on the ballot following a petition signed by the requisite number of voters.

If approved by a majority of the voters voting on the proposition, this Initiative would amend the Santa Barbara County Code to create a County of Santa Barbara Independent Redistricting Commission (Commission). The Commission would act independently of the Board of Supervisors (Board) in adjusting the boundaries of supervisorial districts after each decennial (every 10 years) federal census.

The Commission would be created no later than December 31, 2020 and in each year ending in the number zero thereafter. The Commission would be comprised of 5 members, plus 5 alternates, each meeting specified qualifications.

Among other criteria, the Commission would not include more than 2 members who are registered to vote with the same political party, as shown on the member’s most recent affidavit of registration. In addition, the Commission would include a member residing in each of the 5 existing supervisorial districts, and have an alternate from each of the districts, the alternate being of the same political affiliation of the member from said district.

Under the proposal, following advertising by the Clerk of the Board (Clerk), applicants meeting stated qualifications may submit their names to the Clerk to be included in a random drawing, subject to certain district residence and political affiliation rules, to select members and alternates at a meeting of the Board.

The proposal contains the following provisions, among others:   

(1) The Commission shall adjust the supervisorial district boundaries after each decennial federal census and shall use federal census tracts and blocks in establishing the boundaries of supervisorial districts.

(2)   The Commission shall adjust the boundaries of the supervisorial districts of the local jurisdiction so that the districts are equal, or nearly equal in population.

(3)   The resulting supervisorial districts shall comply with any applicable provisions of Section 10301 of Title 52 of the United States Code, as amended.

(4) The resulting supervisorial districts shall be geographically contiguous and compact.

(5)   In addition to the requirements in (1) through (4), the Commission shall consider the following criteria when establishing the boundaries of the supervisorial districts:

       (A)       Topography, watersheds, natural and artificial barriers;

       (B)       Cohesiveness, contiguity, integrity, and compactness of population centers;

       (C)       Existing neighborhoods, city limits and community boundaries; and

       (D)       Communities of interests. A community of interest is a contiguous population that shares common social and economic interests that should be included within a single district for purposes of its effective and fair representation.

(6)   The Commission shall not draw districts for the purpose of favoring or discriminating against an incumbent, political party or political candidate.

The proposal specifies that the Board shall provide for reasonable staffing and logistical support for the Commission.
The proposal contains procedures for the Commission to follow before adopting new boundaries, including the requirement to hold at least 5 public hearings, with at least 1 in each of the existing supervisorial districts, preceding the hearing at which the new boundaries are adopted.

 

/s/ Michael C. Ghizzoni, County Counsel
July 26, 2018

The above statement is an impartial analysis of Measure H2018. If you desire a copy of the measure, please call the elections official’s office at 1-800-722-8683 and a copy will be mailed at no cost to you. 
You may also access the full text of the measure on the Upcoming Elections page of the County Election Office’s website at http://www.sbcvote.com.

— Santa Barbara County Counsel
Financial effect

The passage of this measure would approve an Ordinance which would establish an Independent Redistricting Commission (“Commission”) in the County of Santa Barbara (“County”). The Commission would be created by December 31, 2020, and in each year ending in the number zero thereafter. The Commission would adjust supervisorial district boundaries for the County independent from the influence of the Board of Supervisors (“Board”). The supervisorial districts would be adjusted in the year following the year in which the decennial federal census is taken by applying certain specified criteria.

The Commission would consist of five (5) members and five (5) alternates that meet certain specified qualifications. The Clerk of the Board (“Clerk”) would administer the application process for members of the Commission and alternates. The Commission would be required to conduct at least five (5) public hearings before the hearing to adopt the new district boundaries. Upon approval of a final redistricting map by a majority vote, the Commission would be required to issue a report explaining the basis on which the Commission made its decisions in achieving compliance with certain criteria specified for establishing district boundaries. If the Commission does not adopt new boundaries within the timeframe prescribed, the Clerk shall petition the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Barbara, for an order directing the appointment of special masters to adjust the boundaries in accordance with the specified redistricting criteria and requirements.

Fiscal impacts associated with this measure include increased County General Fund expenditures for complying with the requirements of the new Ordinance. These costs are estimated to range from $500,000 to $700,000 and would be in addition to the normal costs the County would incur adjusting district boundaries as required every ten (10) years. These estimated additional costs include but are not limited to: Clerk costs for administering the application and selection process for members and alternate members of the Commission, outside legal counsel for the Commission, Clerk costs for administering the Commission’s required public hearings, services, supplies, translation costs, video recording, rent of meeting space for the required public hearings, and County staff or outside consultant costs to prepare the required report.

Actual costs associated with this measure may be different than these estimates due to various factors including: the number of hearings held, the number of applications received and processed, the extent of legal issues, the County staff time incurred, and the amount of services and supplies required by the Commission. Additional costs would also be incurred if special masters are appointed to adjust the boundaries. All costs would be funded by general County revenues.

The measure is not expected to impact County revenues.

/s/ Theodore A. Fallati, C.P.A.
County Auditor-Controller

— Santa Barbara County Auditor-Controller

Arguments FOR

Did you know that in Santa Barbara County, politicians get to pick their voters based on district lines they draw?

This is called gerrymandering, and it must stop. It’s time for every vote to be equally valuable – it’s time for every voice to be heard.

In 2016, the State of California allowed counties to give the power to draw district lines back to the voters. Santa Barbara County has not done this. So, we the People–a diverse coalition of concerned citizens from all parts of Santa Barbara County–put forth this initiative to require the County to place the power back in our hands, as was done when voters passed Propositions 11 and 20 to empower citizens to draw electoral boundaries.

As the only initiative produced by the voters of Santa Barbara County, Measure H-2018 will end decades of gerrymandering and manipulation by powerful special interests.

Voting YES on Measure H-2018 will create an Independent Redistricting Commission in Santa Barbara County. Free from the influence of powerful special interests – free from the control of entrenched politicians – free from gamesmanship – free from abuse.

·            Measure H-2018 will create a nonpartisan, independent redistricting commission

·            Measure H-2018 will not favor one political party over another

·             Measure H-2018 will have independent representatives from each district of the County

·            Measure H-2018 will require public meetings in all areas of the County

·            Measure H-2018 will prevent special interests from serving on the Commission

Measure H-2018 has been placed on the ballot by citizens. Measure H-2018 will be comprised of citizens. Measure H-2018 will benefit the citizens.

Instead of politicians who have their next election as a priority, let’s redraw the district lines so that their only priority is you.

Vote YES on Measure H-2018 and help us break the cycle of political self-interest.

The undersigned author(s) of the Argument in Favor of ballot measure H2018 at the Consolidated General Election for the County of Santa Barbara to be held on November 6, 2018, hereby state that such argument is true and correct to the best of his/her/their knowledge and belief.

/s/ Peter Adam 8/1/2018
Fourth District Supervisor, Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors  

/s/ Steve Lavagnino 8/1/2018
Fifth District Supervisor, Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors  

/s/ Robert Collector 8/1/2018
Board Member on behalf of Reason in Government 

— Santa Barbara County Clerk, Recorder, and Assessor and Registrar of Voters

Arguments AGAINST

The League of Women Voters urges you to vote NO on Measure H2018.

One hallmark of American democracy is “one person one vote.” Every ten years, we conduct a census and redraw political boundaries (redistricting) to equalize population in each district. Measure H2018 will change the way Santa Barbara County draws district lines following the upcoming 2020 census and beyond.

The League of Women Voters has many concerns about Measure H2018, drafted without any public input by a new organization called “Reason In Government”.

The League of Women Voters believes responsibility for redistricting should be vested in an independent commission that reflects the diversity of the community. Measure H2018 provides no assurances that the commission it proposes will  be reflective of the community.

Measure H2018 establishes a complex selection process which enhances the power of the two major political parties at the expense of minor party members and the growing number of non-partisan voters who decline to state a party preference.

In 2016, the League of Women Voters US adopted a Position on Redistricting which emphasizes that redistricting plans should require more than a simple majority vote.

Measure H2018 Commission would have only five members, chosen by lottery, with no specific skills. A quorum is only three members. Only a simple majority is required by Measure H2018 to adopt new boundaries. This is bad public policy!

League of Women Voters US policy states that redistricting at all levels of government must be accomplished in an open, unbiased manner with citizen participation and access at all levels and steps of the process.

Measure H2018 requires only one public meeting in each of the five existing districts before the final hearing when the new districts are adopted.

The League of Women Voters of Santa Barbara respectfully asks that you vote NO on Measure H2018.

For more information on the League of Women Voters’ 
Positions visit:
https://www.lwv.org/redistricting/lwvus-position-redistricting

The undersigned author(s) of the Argument Against ballot measure H2018 at the Consolidated General Election for the County of Santa Barbara to be held on November 6, 2018, hereby state that such argument is true and correct to the best of his/her/their knowledge and belief.

/s/ Lindsey Baker                                   8/1/2018
Co-President on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Santa Barbara

— Santa Barbara County Clerk, Recorder, and Assessor and Registrar of Voters

Replies to Arguments FOR

The proponents of Measure H2018 want you to think that this measure was designed by “a diverse coalition of concerned residents from all parts of Santa Barbara County” to prevent special interests from influencing the redistricting process. NOTHING COULD BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH.

Measure H2018 was designed and funded by special  interests FOR special interests.

A new organization, with only three identified members – called Reason In Government (RIG) and their campaign committee spent, as of June 30, over $146,700 to pay professional signature gatherers and qualify this initiative for the ballot. Their donor list reads like a who’s who of oil and north county development interests, including $46,000 from the California Independent Petroleum Association Political Action Committee. 95% of the contributions to this effort came from large North County landowners, oil and development interests or the Sacramento oil lobby. This information is publicly available on the County elections website.

The League of Women Voters believes that any independent redistricting commission should be designed to produce a commission that is independent not only from the Board of Supervisors, but political parties, campaign contributors, and other special financial interests, and it should be reasonably representative of the County’s diversity.

Measure H2018 provides no assurances that the commission it proposes will be independent or reflective of the community.

Our County deserves better than this. We deserve a truly independent citizens redistricting commission that operates with total transparency.

Stop the Special Interest Power Grab. Please vote NO on Measure H2018.

The undersigned author(s) of the Rebuttal to the Argument in Favor of ballot measure H2018 at the Consolidated General Election for the County of Santa Barbara to be held on November 6, 2018, hereby state that such argument is true and correct to the best of his/her/their knowledge and belief.

/s/ Lindsey Baker           8/12/2018
Co-President on behalf of the League of Women Voters of Santa Barbara

— Santa Barbara County Clerk, Recorder, and Assessor and Registrar of Voters

Replies to Arguments AGAINST

The League of Women Voters (LOWV) is right – Measure H­2018 DOES change how electoral districts are drawn – by ending gerrymandering in Santa Barbara County.

Their criticisms, however, are rife with contradiction:

·         The LOWV argues that the commission “enhances the power of the two major political parties” – but Measure H-2018 prohibits any party from controlling the commission.

·         Measure H-2018 is modeled after the highly-successful anti-gerrymandering Propositions 11 and 20. Interestingly, the LOWV enthusiastically supported these propositions.

·         The LOWV claims that Measure H-2018 lacks public input, yet it was placed on the ballot through a citizen-led signature drive, just like Propositions 11 and 20.

·         Contrary to the LOWV’s views, a simple majority requirement is good public policy because it protects marginalized political groups. The supermajority that LOWV advocates would only benefit major political parties. Measure H-2018 is designed to let every voter’s voice be heard in the political process.

Unlike the LOWV, which distrusts commissioners with “no specific skills,” we believe that the People are the best guardians of democracy – guided by common sense and life experience, and not tainted by special interests. Because Measure H-2018 would select commissioners at random, voters can count on a board that reflects Santa Barbara County’s rich diversity – with a common goal of fair representation for all.

It’s time to end gerrymandering in Santa Barbara County. Join fellow residents by voting YES on Measure H-2018 – the only citizen-led initiative on the ballot to stop gerrymandering.

The undersigned author(s) of the Rebuttal to the Argument Against ballot measure H2018 at the Consolidated General Election for the County of Santa Barbara to be held on November 6, 2018, hereby state that such argument is true and correct to the best of his/her/their knowledge and belief.

/s/ Peter Adam 8/1/2018
Fourth District Supervisor, Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors  

/s/ Steve Lavagnino 8/1/2018
Fifth District Supervisor, Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors  

/s/ Robert Collector         8/1/2018
Board Member on behalf of Reason in Government

— Santa Barbara County Clerk, Recorder, and Assessor and Registrar of Voters

Proposed legislation

You may also access the full text of the measure on the Upcoming Elections page of the County Election Office’s website at http://www.sbcvote.com.

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