The Murky Future for the Senate District Referendum

Measure would put maps on the ballot in June, leave 2012 districts to the Courts

by Brian Leubitz

As I’ve mentioned here in the past, the Senate maps aren’t so much biased, as no longer crazy incumbent protection rackets.  And with that risk, the Republicans face the very real risk of losing their 1/3 superminority and thus becoming pretty much irrelevant.  I’ve outlined many of the complexities of the situations if the measure does qualify, but let’s go with complicated.

But that is a big if at this point. Scott Lay in his wonderful Nooner daily email laid out the situation for qualification:

As expected, the referendum of the state senate plan met the raw count requirement. With 51 counties reporting, 697,392 signatures were counted. Now, counties have until January 10 to conduct and report a random sample for validity. If fewer than 95% of the 504,760 required signatures are projected to be valid, the referendum fails. If the projection exceeds 110% of the required signatures, it qualifies. In between, it proceeds to a full count.

This will be a nail-biter, with the validity of the 209,163 signatures from Los Angeles likely being make-or-break. In contrast, paycheck protection/deception is on track to qualify with 920,569 signatures and a 70% validity rate (before Los Angeles has reported). Carrying forward the trend, it will have 648,000 signatures and won’t need a full count. To avoid failure, redistricting petitions need 68.8% validity in the random sample. With 79.6% validity, a full count will be avoided.  If a full count occurs, actual validity of 72.4% would be needed.

Typical validity rates are between 70 and 77 percent, so while the low-end 68.8 will likely be met, there is no guarantee.  A full count could mean that we don’t know whether this will be on the ballot until March. At which point, it would be nearly impossible to draw up some new set of maps.  At this point, it seems tough to imagine a situation where we aren’t voting on the commission’s maps.  If the June referendum winds up somehow tossing the maps out…well, more fun will surely ensue.

6 thoughts on “The Murky Future for the Senate District Referendum”

  1. And with that risk, the Republicans face the very real risk of losing their 1/3 superminority and thus becoming pretty much irrelevant. – Brian

    So considering you guys complain currently about the “un-pure” Dems who don’t go all in with your policies.  What are you going to do when the un-gerrymandered districts produce Dems who are just as unsympathetic to tax increases as Republicans.

    In a marginal district it’s that much more politically dangerous to cast the deciding vote for soaking the public.

    I think your taking a lot of things for granted…

  2. It doesn’t seem likely that Goopers would be able to overturn a reasonable re-districting job done by the Redistricting Committee

    Face it, we’re seeing the Republican party circling around the drain in California

    They seem to have lost their constituency and relevance

    Let’s see what Jerry Brown can and will do with a Gooper-veto free Legislature

    I hope Democrats don’t over reach

    An Oil Severance tax dedicated to education would be a lovely outcome. But will Democrats really get this done ??

    Splitting the property tax rolls would be wonderful, but probably out of reach

    Stay tuned

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