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Citizens Panel Certifies Calif. Redistricting Maps, Republicans Plan To File Petition

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SACRAMENTO (AP) — California’s voter-created citizens commission has certified the state’s new legislative and congressional maps, scrambling the political landscape and setting off a wide-open campaign season next year.

The 14-member California Citizens Redistricting Commission voted on final maps for Congress, the Legislature and the Board of Equalization, which administers sales and use taxes.

The panel released drafts two weeks ago but gave formal approval Monday. The new state Assembly, Senate and Board of Equalization maps were approved 13-1, with Republican commissioner Michael Ward voting no. Ward, of Anaheim, and another Republican commissioner, Jodie Filkins Webber of Norco, voted against the new congressional boundaries.

Ward issued a statement saying he thought the panel failed to adhere to the federal Voting Rights Act, which requires that minority groups be placed in the same district.

California Republican Party Chairman Tom Del Beccaro says the party will file a petition on Tuesday
seeking a referendum to overturn newly approved state Senate districts.

Del Beccaro told The Associated Press on Monday that the party will submit ballot language to the secretary of state’s office.

Political consultant Dave Gilliard has been hired to run the referendum campaign. He says the group will need to collect about 505,000 valid signatures to qualify the measure for the June 2012
ballot.

For more information on the legislative and congressional maps, click here.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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