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New Congressional Districts Sought

Supporters of a proposed referendum measure to overturn California's new congressional district maps may begin collecting petition signatures.

Opponents of the new redistricting plan for may begin collecting petition signatures for a referendum to overturn the redistricting maps, said California Secretary of State Debra Bowen's office in a statement Friday.

Proponents of the referendum now need 504,760 signatures from registered California voters by Nov. 13 in order to place this item on the 2012 election ballot.

If the referendum petition is signed by enough voters, it would prevent the new redistricting boundaries from taking effect unless approved by voters at the next statewide election.

The California Citizens Redistricting Commission consists of five Republicans, five Democrats and four decline-to-state voters. The group redrew the boundaries for California's 53 congressional districts as part of Proposition 11, the Voters First Act.

So far, the redrawn districts have faced criticism :

  • Mexican-American Legal Defense Fund (which has argued that the redistricting maps would result in fewer Latino representatives in the Central Valley)
  • Republicans (who have argued that the redrawn districts unfairly give Democrats an advantage in elections)

Earlier Patch coverage of the California redistricting process:

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