El Dorado County seeks input to establish electoral boundaries

Submitted to the Tribune

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — El Dorado County officials on Tuesday announced the launch of a new webpage to educate and solicit input about the process that occurs once every 10 years following the Census to redraw electoral boundaries more evenly.

“Since these district maps determine which areas will be grouped together for the purposes of electing a member of the Board of Supervisors, the input about what those boundaries look like from the people who will be impacted by them is critical,” said Board Chair John Hidahl in a press release. “We’ve built a public engagement process that will allow people to participate in a variety of different ways in a short period of time.”

The COVID-19 crisis put the normal timeline to provide public education and solicit responses nearly six months behind. Census information that would normally have been provided to counties by March 31 won’t arrive until the end of September at the earliest due to COVID-19 complications. The Board of Supervisors must adopt final maps no later than December 15. That puts the public, and the Board of Supervisors, in the challenging position of getting significant amounts of work accomplished in just six weeks.

“This website is one way for county staff to engage the public about the importance of redistricting, how to get involved, information about community meetings, and other information to help complete the redistricting requirements and adopt new boundaries on time,” Hidahl said.

Public workshops about redistricting, the process, mapping tools and other information will start next month and continue through the rest of the year.

The first public meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. Friday, June 4, via Zoom. Links to the meeting will be posted on the new webpage under the Public Meeting tab.

The website includes a timeline, frequently asked questions, a list of public meeting dates and locations, a tool for the public to be able to draw their own maps and ways to get involved.

“This is a great opportunity for the public to be meaningfully involved in a once-in-a-decade effort that will shape the way they’re represented,” Hidahl said. “We urge everyone to participate and have their voice heard.”

Source: El Dorado County

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