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Redistricting to have an impact on state assembly races

Voting (FILE)
Posted at 12:19 PM, Jun 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-06 15:19:48-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — The primary election is Tuesday and if you haven't looked at the list of candidates it might seem different due to newly drawn district lines.

Political analyst Allen Bolar explains that after a census count, lines are redrawn and these new lines will impact the upcoming election cycle.

“When people move around, then you need to make sure that the districts are all proportional. That they're all equal there's a rough balance and how many people live in each district,” says Bolar. “So we district for a lot of different things: the U.S. Congress, the state assembly, county supervisors, and many different other officials have their districts redrawn every census period.”

Take a look at the state assembly districts specifically, Kern County includes districts 32, 34, and 35. Assemblymember Vince Fong is the incumbent in District 32, but he used to represent District 34. In the old lines, 43-percent of voters were registered Republicans and after redistricting, District 32 leans more right on the political spectrum, as nearly half of the voters are registered Republicans.

Less than 10-percent of voters in State Assembly District 34 live in Kern County as it also includes parts of LA and San Bernadino counties with nearly 40-percent being Republican and about 30-percent Democrat.

State Assembly District 35 includes just Kern County. Breaking that down almost half of the voters are registered Democrats and less than a quarter are registered Republicans. But this race is an open seat because a part of the district used to be represented by Assembly Member Rudy Salas who is now running for a congressional seat. Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez and Doctor Jasmeet Bains, both Kern County natives, are running in this race in the June 7th primary election.

Regardless, experts say primaries help to reach residents and give those running the opportunity to connect with voters, especially new ones.

“The reality is that you have to keep people excited and then get them to the polls on election day," explains political analyst Ivy Cargile. "You have to stay in their ear because there is so much going on. There is so much that competes for people’s daily attention that elections and voting just may not be at the top of minds.”