From today’s Sacramento Bee:
The California Department of Justice announced an investigation Tuesday into redistricting in Butte County, and whether its board of supervisors violated state voting rights law when it redrew district boundaries after the 2020 census.
In 2021, the conservative majority on the Butte County Board of Supervisors voted, 3-2, to enact boundaries that created two agricultural districts rather than grouping them together as one “community of interest,” as determined by the state’s FAIR MAPS ACT, according to a report from TV station KRCR.
“Rural people need a voice. It’s just as strong as anybody in the city or anybody in any core neighborhood or anything like that. They need a voice and probably they need multiple voices on a county level,” Board Chair Bill Connelly said at the time, according to KRCR.
Also, a large portion of Chico heavily populated by students and Latinos was split three ways on the west side of the city, according to the Chico Enterprise-Record. Critics argued that the new alignment would dilute the voting power of Democratic-leaning voters, by splitting them up into more Republican-leaning districts.
The 2019 FAIR MAPS Act was authored by Attorney General Rob Bonta when he was still in the Legislature. It establishes criteria and deadlines for adopting new boundaries, as well as hearing procedures to allow for public input. In a statement, Bonta said that every eligible voter deserves equal representation.
Read the complete story here.