Editorial: Why L.A. needs independent redistricting for 2018 election
By John Greenfield
Published: Wednesday, February 23, 2018 at 06:08 PM.
The L.A. Times takes a look at what we can expect from the 2018 election and whether independent redistricting is more of a solution than a problem.
There is a growing sense that California’s election system is broken, but there is only one thing that can fix it:
a plan that addresses the growing gap between the number of people eligible to vote and the number of people taking part in the state’s elections. That gap, which has tripled since the 1990s, is driven by a growing population of people unable to vote.
This problem was laid bare by the 2016 California Secretary of State’s office’s report that 2.1 million people — or 19.8 percent of eligible voters — were absent from one or more elections in 2016 — a record number. Nearly half, or 453,000, were absent because they did not have photo IDs that were valid in California, and more than half, or 626,000, were absent because they were younger than 18 or older than 65.
In 2016, there were 6,826,814 registered voters in California and 4,979,074 were registered to vote. This meant that 7,388,000 people — or more than a third — were not registered in the state.
The growing voter turnout gap and the record number of people who are absent from voting in California point to the same problem:
too few people are voting.
Not only were more than half, or 536,000, of California’s voter turnout hollow in 2016, but also, turnout among voters aged 65 and older dropped to its lowest share since the 1930s.
The voters who did vote, while larger than in previous years, were significantly smaller than in the two most recent elections that were held after the passage of Proposition 2 and the approval of Proposition 8 (1996, 2004) in California, and in the 2010 election. In the 2018 election, voter turnout is expected to be 1.5 percent lower than in 2012, when