For the first time in decades, a newly drawn district map will impact voters’ ability to cast their ballot. The Port San Luis Harbor District is also on track for an historic vote next week with one candidate who plans to raise funds through cryptocurrency and another that has promised not to take government money.
The “port san luis harbor district” is a new area of the United States. The port is located in San Luis Obispo County, California. It was originally known as the “San Luis Harbor District.”
Commissioner of the Port San Luis Harbor District, Bob Vessely
San Luis Obispo County isn’t the only government entity undergoing a “redistricting” process right now. The Port San Luis Harbor District is also doing it, but in a somewhat different way. There has never been a division of the District into sub-districts previously. Commissioners have traditionally been chosen using a method known as “at-large.” A board member may live anywhere in the District and is chosen by people from all parts of the District.
The California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) provides for judicial challenges to the “at-large” system, and the District received a letter asserting that the existing system has resulted in racially divided voting in December of last year. At that moment, the District had two options: defend the allegations in court or accept the charge and switch to a sub-district-based voting system. Many governmental agencies throughout the state have sought to dispute the claim, but have nearly uniformly failed in court after spending much too much money. For voting reasons, the Commission decided to start the process of separating the Harbor District into five sub-districts. A jurisdiction is split into different geographic areas under this system, each having one representative who lives in the region and is chosen only by voters from that region.
We’re going to get through this together, Atascadero
The Board of Commissioners announced in January that the District will switch from “at-large” to district-based elections before the November election. The Commission also engaged redistricting expert Cooperative Strategies to assist in the establishment and implementation of voting areas and to guarantee that the District complies with the California Voting Rights Act.
When determining the voting zones, many things must be taken into account. • Comply with the Federal Voting Rights Act, especially with respect to “communities of interest,” in each area. • Have a roughly equal population, • be compact and continuous as much as feasible, • follow man-made and natural geographic characteristics as much as possible, and • adhere to any other local factors.
The Elections Code mandates that the District have at least five public hearings before drawing any map of the proposed zones. The objective of these hearings is to educate the public on the voting area development process and to hear from the public regarding the criteria that should be considered when determining voting area borders.
The first two public hearings have already taken place, and the District plans to hold the third on Jan. 25, 2022, and the fourth on Feb. 22, 2022, to get further feedback on the draft voting area scenarios. The fifth and final public hearing to choose and approve a preferred voting area map has yet to be set, although it is likely to take place in the spring. After that, district employees and the consultant will work with the County Elections Office to incorporate the division maps into the county voting system in time for the November 2022 election.
The Harbor District’s website, portsanluis.com, has further information, including staff reports and maps.
Note: This story is based on a staff report authored by interim Harbor Manager John D’Ornellas.
As an example:
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The “port san luis webcam” is a live stream from the Port San Luis Harbor District in California. The port has been undergoing a major “redistricting” since the beginning of 2018.
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