And then there were 30.
The number of people who applied for the State Commission on Redistricting, which once stood at 30,000, is now down to a relative handful, as the byzantine winnowing process continues this week.
Lillian Judd of Los Osos remains in the mix, having survived a challenge round during which Republican and Democratic leaders each got to arbitrarily remove eight members of the other party. Judd is a Democrat.
The commission will reconfigure federal and state legislative boundaries, taking that responsibility out of the hands of the Legislature. Redrawing the lines is required by law and takes place every 10 years, after the U.S. Census is completed.
Democrats and Republicans in the Legislature have long faced criticism that they conspire to draw the lines in a way that protects their own Congressional, state Senate, and Assembly office holders.
Prop 11 in 2008 and Prop 20 this year handed that job to the citizens’ commission, in an effort to remove partisan politics.
The process through which Judd and others have passed has been exhaustive and exhausting. They have had to write essays, submit letters of recommendation, and go through personal interviews, among other things.
Now their fate lies with a lottery.
On Thursday morning, the state auditor’s office will draw eight names at random – three Republicans, three Democrats, and two independents or minor party candidates. Judd, 67, is one of the eight Democrats still standing.
Those eight will select the final six members – two from each group.