NewsCovering Kern County


Redistricting will affect 2022 midterm elections

Virus Outbreak 2020 Census Redistricting
Posted at 5:06 PM, Nov 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-15 20:09:32-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — If you’re voting in the 2022 midterm elections, your ballot could look different than in some previous cycles. With the 2020 Census data, districts lines are being redrawn. That could impact your choice of candidates soon.

District 21 includes Wasco, Shafter, Delano McFarland, Arvin, Lamont, and a part of Southeast Bakersfield, this is all currently represented by Republican David Valadao. District 23 which is house minority leader Kevin McCarthy’s district, includes Porterville, Ridgecrest, Tehachapi, California City, and the rest of Bakersfield.

But, with the new changes and one less house seat in California, those lines could change here in Bakersfield.

“It affects where the political power of a state lands, it determines the makeup of congress, which party is going to have the majority in the house of representatives, and also at the state legislature in the state assemblies and in the state senates,” said Ivy Cargile, Political Analyst.

Redistricting is the process of redrawing district lines based on the latest census data. The goal is to try to keep districts fair, based on the demographics of the people living there.

“It’s always important when voting to be able to elect somebody who we think is going to go to Washington DC or Sacramento or Downtown Bakersfield. Who is going to go there and is going to represent the policy interests, the issue interests, of the constituents that they represent, whether they voted for them or not,” said Cargile.

The California Redistricting Commission submitted their draft plans of mapping out congressional, senate, and assembly districts.

According to their new proposal, Kern will have two congressional districts, just as it does now. One will span Shafter, Delano, Arvin, Lamont, and most of Bakersfield, and the other covers the rest of Bakersfield including Oildale and Rosedale, Boron, California City, Ridgecrest, the Kern River Valley, and Tehachapi.

The difference between the current and proposed maps is mainly around Bakersfield. Currently, district 23 represented by house minority leader Kevin McCarthy has most of Bakersfield, but most of those areas would go to the other district. Which is the one that David Valadao currently represents. Cargile said one of the biggest changes with the new map is the districts growing to make up for the lost seat.

“For the first time in US history, the state of California is losing a representative after this redistricting, we’re only going to have 52. Still, the largest delegation that is going to be sent to Washington DC, but still we lost one,” said Cargile.

The districts will have to expand to cover the whole state. The California Redistricting Commission is a 14-member team with 5 democrats, 5 republicans, and 4 with no party affiliation chosen by the state auditors.

If you want to share public comments on these and other maps too. The commission is hosting public input meetings on November 17th for the congressional maps. For the assembly maps on the 18th. For the senate maps on the 19th and more district feedback till the 23rd.

It’s important for the average voter to be educated about this. I would just urge people to, I understand that this is daunting, and it might feel very overwhelming, but it’s also very important because the people that represent us in Washington DC are tasked with bringing the city and the county and the district that they represent, benefits,” said Cargile.

So currently, the breakup of registered voters in kern county by party is 36.5% are registered republicans 34.5% are registered democrats and about 20-percent have no party preference.