Political Redistricting


We have supported political districting and redistricting projects since 1990:  many clients relied on us for demographic districting services after the 1990, 2000, and 2010 U.S. Censuses.  We look forward to sharing our expertise during your post-2020 Census redistricting! 

Lapkoff & Gobalet’s staff members are expert users of Census data and GIS software.  We understand the technical, legal, and political aspects of redistricting.  We are committed professionals who believe our mission is to be objective providers of essential information.  We work to help achieve consensus and help disparate parties agree on districting plans.  We work with elected officials, community members, and Registrars of Voters during development and implementation of redistricting plans.

Redistricting Services

During redistricting projects, we

•  Prepare your Census 2020 redistricting database

•  Evaluate whether your current election districts have balanced populations using Census 2020 counts

•  Develop and modify plans that meet legal and traditional criteria if current election district boundaries need to be modified to equalize populations

•  Attend virtual and/or in-person meetings with your board, members of the public, and/or staff members; assist with public outreach; and provide materials for the public and the jurisdiction’s website.

•  Provide data for your Board as it chooses a districting plan

•  Provide documentation to County Registrar(s) of voters

•  Provide maps of the final adopted plan for posting on your jurisdiction’s website.

We provide optional online districting services if you choose to provide a way for interested parties to submit their own districting plans.   We evaluate the plans and report our findings to the Board.

About the 2020 Census Redistricting Process:

Redistricting is the process of adjusting election district boundaries, if necessary, after each decennial U.S. Census because of population changes that cause the current districts to have unequal total populations.  The U.S. House of Representatives, state legislatures, counties, cities, school districts, and special districts all need to evaluate whether the latest Census shows that election districts have equal population sizes and, if not, to adjust boundaries.

Timing of the redistricting process:
The Census Bureau is scheduled to release all Census 2020 redistricting data by July 31, 2021 (four months later than originally planned).  As a result, the State of  California decided to change its statutory deadlines for Counties and General Law Cities.  Now, the deadlines for completing the redistricting process, which varies by type of jurisdiction, are:

•  Counties                                                                12/15/2021
•  Cities*                                                                     4/17/2022
•  K-12 and community college districts      before 3/1/2022
•  County Board of Education                           before 3/1/2022
•  Special districts**                                             generally, before 5/12/2022

* Charter cities have the same deadline as general law cities, unless the charter specifies an earlier date.

** Check governing law to confirm.

If analysis of Census 2020 data shows that no boundary adjustments are required (because populations are still balanced), the current plan may remain in place.

Federal law and other redistricting criteria include:
Federal law requires that election districts have equal total populations and that Federal Voting Rights Act requirements are met.

Traditional districting criteria include:

•  Respect communities of interest
•  Use identifiable geographic boundaries
•  Compact and contiguous districts
•  New plan based on existing districts to the extent possible
•  Respect incumbency
•  Use existing voting precincts when possible.

How many alternative plans should be developed?
We provide a few draft plans that meet requirements that then revise them or draw additional plans in response to suggestions from the jurisdiction’s officials and members of the public.  Mapping/redistricting software makes it possible to generate a variety of plans, although the number should be kept to a minimum to avoid confusion.  We draw plans that meet legal criteria (as interpreted by demographers) and explain why some alternative plans would not meet requirements.

Example of a redistricting plan

Voting rights litigation

LGDR has provided demographic analyses connected with specific voting rights cases, including:

Yumori-Kaku v. City of Santa Clara, CA, 17CV319862 | California State, Santa Clara County, Superior Court, 2018

Rosalinda Avita, et al. v. Tulare Local Healthcare District, et al.

Valladolid v. San Diego County

United States of America v. Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District

Lopez, et al v. Monterey County, et al.

Redistricting and Districting Clients include:

ABC Unified School District
Alisal Union School District
Cerritos Community College District
Chabot-Las Positas Community College District
Chualar School District
City of Fremont
City of Hollister
City of Salinas
City of Santa Clara
Gavilan Joint Community College District
Gonzales Unified School District
Hartnell Community College District
Kerman Unified School District
Kern High School District
Menifee Union School District
Monterey County Board of Education
Monterey County Board of Supervisors
Monterey Peninsula College District
Monterey Peninsula Unified School District
Monterey Peninsula Water Management District
North Monterey County Unified School District
Perris Union High School District
Salinas City School District
Salinas Union High School District
San Benito Health Care District
San Jacinto Unified School District
San Jose Unified School District
San Jose/Evergreen Community College District
Sierra View Local Health Care District
State Center Community College District
Stockton Unified School District
Sylvan Union School District
Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal Water District
West County Wastewater District
West Hills Community College District
West Valley-Mission Community College District

References and costs for our redistricting work will be provided upon request.

We provide redistricting (and districting) services, with all relevant analyses and easy-to-understand maps, data, and graphics.  We help build consensus.