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Lake Elsinore Falls Into Black Hole; Senate Rules Committee To Step In

Voters will have no say on who represents them until 2014 when they go to the polls and formally elect their senator.

Once the 2012 ballots are cast and counted, Lake Elsinore will be without a senator due to a redistricting hiccup.

Lake Elsinore, which falls into the 28th Senate District under the new redistricting maps, “is being deferred,” explained Tedda Oldknow, who works in the state’s Senate Demographics out of Sacramento. “[Lake Elsinore] won’t have a representative after the November election.”

As a temporary fix, however, the city will get a fill-in representative appointed by the Senate Rules Committee following the elections, Oldknow said.

“This happens every 10 years, when the maps are redrawn,” she explained.

“Deferred” cities or areas are those that were once part of an odd-numbered district but are becoming an even number under the new maps, Oldknow explained. “There’s an overlay,” she said.

California underwent redistricting last year. New map lines were drawn, including senate lines, by the Citizens Redistricting Commission.

Sen. Bill Emmerson currently represents Lake Elsinore in the 37th District. Under the newly redrawn maps, Emmerson’s district will be the 23rd, which doesn’t include the city.

Technically, the newly redrawn senate districts don’t take effect until there is an election. As for the appointment, Oldknow said it’s likely that a nearby district senator will get the nod. The same is true for other deferred areas in the state. Voters in these pockets will have no say on who represents them until 2014 when they go to the polls and formally elect their senator.

Until then, they get a temp.

Temporary Representation

As Lake Elsinore’s senator gets “appointed” following the 2012 elections, Wildomar will see a familiar, albeit temporary, representative, despite the fact that the city falls within the lines of the newly redrawn 28th Senate District.

Currently, Sen. Joel Anderson represents areas including Wildomar and unincorporated area near Lake Elsinore as part of the 36th District. Given that the 36th is an even number, Anderson is not up for reelection until 2014. So by de-facto, even though his district has been redrawn -- and Wildomar and surrounding areas are not part of his new digs -- he will temporarily represent the area until 2014, Oldknow explained. The same likely holds true for Murrieta and much of Temecula, which are currently held by Anderson but fall into District 28 on the new senate map.

But come 2014, even if Anderson is reelected, he will no longer hold the area unless he decides to make his home in District 28 – unlikely given his current County of San Diego residence.

Does a “temporary senator” care about “temporary constituents?”

"All elected officials are temporary because we all serve at the pleasure of our constituents,” Anderson said in emailed statement for this story. “It is a privilege to represent Riverside County, and I believe there is nothing more important than providing top-quality service for the citizens of Riverside. My team and I stand ready to serve you to the best of our ability."

Court Challenges

As the shuffle plays out, there is a legal challenge to the newly redrawn maps.

In January, in response to a lawsuit largely spearheaded by Republicans who contend the new maps favor Democrats, the California Supreme Court concluded that the new Senate redistricting maps will be used in the upcoming primary and general elections.

However, the high court ordered that, if a proposed referendum challenging the map qualifies for the November ballot, "the Secretary of State and local election officials are to use the state Senate map certified by the Commission as interim boundaries for the 2012 primary and general elections. The Commission’s certified state Senate map is the alternative most consistent with the constitutional scheme and criteria embodied in the federal and state Constitutions."

some guy February 19, 2012 at 04:16 PM
awe a "hiccup" its ok then.... another excuss...
Roberto February 21, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Taxation without representation? Can you say Lake Elsinore?
Anon March 27, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Isn't our President doing the same thing?

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