What redistricting changes mean to Truckee and Nevada County | SierraSun.com

What redistricting changes mean to Truckee and Nevada County

Lorraine Jewett-Burdick, Nevada County Clerk-Recorder

This article is meant to explain some of the significant changes Truckee area voters will face in the March 5, 2002 Primary Election as a result of redistricting at the state and local levels.

The changes affect the contests that will appear – or will no longer appear – on the ballot.

The state legislature draws – and the Governor approves – new boundaries for congressional, senate and assembly districts every 10 years based on census population data. The County Board of Supervisors also draws and approves new boundaries to balance populations within Nevada County’s five Supervisorial Districts.

Here is an overview of the major redistricting changes in Nevada County:

— Our county is no longer a part of the Second Congressional District, the district long represented by Wally Herger, (R-Marysville). Redistricting now places Nevada County in the Fourth Congressional District, represented by John Doolittle, (R-Rocklin).

— Nevada County was previously contained wholly within California’s First Senate District, represented by Rico Oller, (R-San Andreas). With redistricting, a new senate boundary meanders vertically across the mid-section of Nevada County, preserving Truckee, Chicago Park, and most of eastern Nevada County in the First Senate District but placing much of western Nevada County in the Fourth Senate District. The First Senate District is not up for election in 2002, but the Fourth Senate District will be contested in March.

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— Nevada County remains wholly a part of the Third Assembly District; redistricting did not change the Third Assembly District as it relates to Nevada County.

But the split of our county into two Senate Districts has ramifications for the Third Assembly District. The Fourth Senate District is represented by Maurice Johannssen, (R-Redding), who is prohibited by term limits from seeking another term. Third District Assemblyman Sam Aanestad, (R-Grass Valle)y, has announced he will seek election to the open Fourth Senate District seat – which means the Third Assembly District seat will be open and potentially draw many candidates.

— Nevada County Supervisors wrapped up their redistricting duties more than a month ago. The board took the San Juan Ridge out of the Fifth Supervisorial District, represented by Barbara Green, and placed it in the Fourth Supervisorial District, represented by Elizabeth Martin. The Fifth District also lost to the First Supervisorial District the communities that neighbor Nevada City (Cement Hill, Lake Vera and North Bloomfield).

The board made the Truckee area the foundation of the Fifth Supervisorial District, even though the Fifth District now has less population than the other four districts. The thought is that because the Truckee area is growing so fast, the populations between the five districts will even out before the next redistricting session set 10 years from now.

Since the new congressional and legislative boundaries were revealed two weeks ago, the Nevada County Elections Office has been busy applying the changes parcel by parcel to our voter registration data base.

In hundreds of cases, the new Senate boundary splits individual parcels as well as communities. Where the new Senate boundary cuts across a home, we have contacted voters and allowed them to choose their Senate District per state law.

The Nevada County Elections Office is working diligently to implement redistricting plans accurately and quickly. The task is being repeated in each of California’s 58 counties.

Pre-printed, pre-folded maps that delineate new Senatorial and Supervisorial boundaries, and include an alphabetical listing of local roadways, will be available for $4 at the Elections Office next month. Until then, $8 GIS maps are available that show the new Senatorial and Supervisorial lines and major roadways – although GIS maps do not include an alphabetical listing and grid-locator for Nevada County roadways.

I encourage Truckee voters to take a little extra time to review their March 5, 2002 Sample Ballot Booklets, and closely examine mandatory changes in ballot contests and potential changes in polling places.

Working together, we can preserve your most precious right: your right to vote.

–The Nevada County Clerk/Recorder can be reached at (800) 844-1221.