On November 8, 2008, a historic presidential election drove voter participation to unusually high levels. Californians cast more than 13.5 million votes for president. Much farther down their ballot, a smaller number of voters (just short of 12 million) voted on Prop 11, the Voters First Act. By a margin of less than 1 percent, voters transformed the way the state went about drawing districts for state offices. Instead of the state legislature and governor (and at times, the courts), an independent citizen commission, the California Citizens Redistricting Commission (CRC) would now accomplish the task. With little notice in the tidal wave of the presidential race, Californians had made a major change to their state’s constitution.
In 2010, the VOTERS FIRST Act for Congress added the responsibility of drawing Congressional districts to the Commission. In 2010 and 2012 the Props 27 & 40 to reverse the process failed much bigger margin.
In 2011 CRC draw the maps in CA, and today 7 states established CRC. 2011 maps survived the letigation and were approved by the voters. California leads the Nation in transferring the power of redistricting from elected officials to the People.