County of Santa Barbara Independent Redistricting Commission


Help Shape Santa Barbara County's future!

district mapThe County of Santa Barbara is finalizing its selection process for qualified residents who will redraw the boundaries for the County's five supervisorial districts. District lines can shape a community's ability to elect the representative of their choice.

Redistricting takes place every 10 years after the federal census. District boundaries for federal, state and local elected offices are redrawn to reflect new population data and shifting populations.    

The County's district boundaries will change so the five County supervisors elected to represent those districts each serve about 90,000 residents and reflect the County's diverse population.  

The County's Independent Redistricting Commission will consist of 11 county residents who are not elected officials, city staff, lobbyists, candidates, campaign donors, or their close family members. Consideration is given to create a commission that reflects the diversity of Santa Barbara County. 

The commission shall be created no later than Dec. 31, 2020 tasked with establishing the electoral district boundaries in Santa Barbara County for the upcoming decade following receipt of the 2020 federal census data. The commission will provide an open and transparent process that enables full public consideration and comment on the drawing of district lines.

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Next Steps in the Selection Process


The application period closed on Friday, August 21 at 5 p.m. Thank you to the nearly 200 individuals who applied to serve on the County's Independent Redistricting Commission. In accordance with California Elections Code Section §23003(c), the County Elections Official selected the 45 most qualified applicants based on the criteria and qualifications detailed in the Ordinance, whose names will be posted online for 30 days for members of the public to view before a random drawing to select five commissioners. Those five commissioners will then pick another five members and one at-large member to complete the commission.


NOTE: Date change due to a scheduling conflict. On On October 13, 2020, in a meeting of the Board of Supervisors, the County District Attorney will conduct a random drawing to pick five commissioners from the list of qualified applicants. The first random drawing will choose one commissioner for each of the five supervisorial districts.

The five randomly selected commissioners will then meet in late October and early November to select six more commissioners from the pool of qualified applicants to form a commission of 11 members.

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Commission Selection Timeline

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Frequently Asked Questions


Below are helpful frequently asked questions about the process. If you have additional questions, please e-mail  redistricting@countyofsb.org.  

Redistricting is the process where the district lines for Congress, state legislatures, city councils, and school boards are redrawn. Every 10 years, the districts are redrawn based on Census data.

Redistricting ensures every person has fair representation by drawing districts with an equal number of people. How the districts are drawn determines how effectively a community is represented in the halls of government.

The incorporated areas in Santa Barbara County are Buellton, Carpinteria, Goleta, Guadalupe, Lompoc, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and Solvang. All other areas are unincorporated, including Montecito, Summerland, Eastern Goleta Valley, Santa Ynez Valley excluding Solvang and Buellton, Vandenburg, Orcutt and Cuyama.

In the November 2018 Statewide General Election, Santa Barbara County voters approved Measure G (County Code Section 2-10.9A) that establishes an 11-person Citizens' Independent Redistricting Commission to adjust the boundaries of the county supervisorial districts through an open and transparent process in accordance with federal and state criteria.

The commission will be tasked with establishing the electoral district boundaries in Santa Barbara County for the upcoming decade following receipt of the 2020 federal census data, currently scheduled to be received in early April 2021.

As outlined in the County Ordinance No. 5051, Section 2-10.9A, the required qualifications to become a commissioner are as follows:

  • Be a resident of Santa Barbara County.
  • Be a voter registered in Santa Barbara County.
  • Have not changed registered political party affiliation within the past five years immediately preceding the date of appointment to the commission.
  • Have voted in Santa Barbara County in at least one of the last three statewide elections immediately preceding applying to the commission.
  • Must be eligible under the provisions of Elections Code § 23003(c), or any successor provision governing qualifications of commissioner for independent redistricting commissions.
  • No commissioner may have any significant financial interest, as defined in the ordinance, in any company, corporation or other business entity that has donated $500 or more in one year to any candidate for elective office of the County of Santa Barbara, or to any controlled committee, primarily formed committee, general purpose committee, independent expenditure committee that expended funds in support or opposition to a candidate for elective office of the County of Santa Barbara within the last eight years preceding appointment to the commission.
  • No commissioner or immediate family member may, within the last eight years preceding appointment to the commission, have contributed $500 or more in one year to any candidate controlled committee, primarily formed committee, or general purpose committee, independent expenditures committee or other political action committee that has expended more than $1,000 in support or in opposition to the election campaign for any elective office of the County of Santa Barbara.
  • No commissioner or immediate family member may, within the last eight years preceding appointment to the commission, have been a board member, officer, paid or volunteer staff of, or had a significant influence on the actions or decisions of a political committee required to register with the California Secretary of State, which expended funds in excess of $500 in support or opposition to a candidate for any elective office of the County of Santa Barbara, including member communications.
 

In addition, the following criteria was taken into account:

  • Experience that demonstrates analytical skills relevant to the redistricting process and voting rights, and ability to comprehend and apply the applicable state and federal legal requirements.
  • Experience that demonstrates an ability to be impartial.
  • Experience that demonstrates an appreciation for the geographic and cultural diversity of Santa Barbara County.
 

If selected to serve on the commission, a commissioner may not do the following:

  • While serving on the commission, endorse, work for, volunteer for, or make a campaign contribution to, a candidate for any county elective office.
  • Be a candidate for an elective county office for 10 years commencing with the date of his or her appointment to the commission.
  • For four years commencing with the date of his or her appointment to the commission:
    • Accept an appointment to any county office, board or commission.
    • Accept employment as a staff member of, or consultant to, an elected county official or candidate for county elective office.
    • In their personal capacity, receive a noncompetitively bid contract with the county.
    • Register as a lobbyist for the county.