Districting: Establishing 2023 Voter Districts

The Districting Process

Local governments use data from the U.S. Census Bureau to draw district lines to reflect the changing local population demographics. State law requires cities, counties, and special districts to engage communities in the districting process by holding public hearings and doing public outreach.

On June 7, 2023, the Aliso Viejo City Council voted to transition from an at-large election process to district-based elections through which the City’s five council members will each be elected from a single-member district. A by-district method divides an agency into separate districts and allows the voters in each district to elect a member of the City Council. These new district-based elections will take effect for the November 2024 election, which will include districts 1, 3, and 5.

Link to 2023 Aliso Viejo City Council Adopted Ordinance and District Boundary Map


Districting Maps

The public map submission period closed on Thursday, April 20, 2023.

Below are the district proposals submitted to the City of Aliso Viejo in its 2023 districting effort. The files posted include individual proposal packets, additional documentation, and aggregated proposal information.

Posted May 9, 2023

Posted April 26, 2023

Public Comments

Districting Public Comments (PDF)

Public Hearings & Timeline

April 5, 2023 7:00 p.m. (or as soon thereafter as possible)

City Council Meeting/Public Hearing #1

  • Pre-Map
  • Solicit public input
  • Release districting website
  • Present Existing Conditions report and Public Participation Kit
  • Open map submission period

Meeting Documents:

April 19, 2023 7:00 p.m. (or as soon thereafter as possible)

City Council Meeting/Public Hearing #2

  • Pre-Map
  • Solicit public input
Meeting Documents:
April 20, 2023 5:00 p.m.Close of the public submission period for map proposals by the public
May 3, 2023 7:00 p.m. (or as soon thereafter as possible)

City Council Meeting/Public Hearing #3

  • First review of draft maps
  • Possible revision direction by City Council
  • Solicit public input
Meeting Documents:
May 17, 2023 7:00 p.m. (or as soon thereafter as possible)

City Council Meeting/Public Hearing #4

  • Consideration of maps and any revised maps
  • Solicit public input
  • Map selection and first reading of ordinance
Meeting Documents:

June 7, 2023 7:00 p.m.

City Council Meeting

  • Second reading of ordinance
Meeting Documents:


What is districting?

It is the regular process of determining the lines of voting districts in accordance with population shifts. In California, public agencies and other organizations must divide the lines of their districts according to the results of the Decennial Census, so that each council district is substantially equal in population. This ensures that each elected official represents about the same number of constituents. All district lines must be reviewed to meet strict requirements for population equality and voting rights protections in accordance with the federal Voting Rights Act and the California Elections Code.

Why is it important?

Districting determines which neighborhoods and communities are grouped together into a district for purposes of electing City Council members. 

What criteria is used to determine district lines?

1.   Federal Laws

  • Equal Population (based on total population of residents as determined by the most recent Federal decennial Census and adjusted by the State to reassign incarcerated persons to the last known place of residence)
  • Federal Voting Rights Act
  • No Racial Gerrymandering

2.   California Criteria for Cities (to the extent practicable and in the following order of priority)

  • Geographically contiguous (areas that meet only at the points of adjoining corners are not contiguous. Areas that are separated by water and not connected by a bridge, tunnel, or ferry service are not contiguous.
  • Undivided neighborhoods and “communities of interest” (Socio-economic geographic areas that should be kept together for purposes of its effective and fair representation)
  • Easily identifiable boundaries
  • Compact (Do not bypass one group of people to get to a more distant group of people)
  • Prohibited: “Shall not favor or discriminate against a political party.”

3.   Other Traditional Redistricting Principles

  • Minimize voters shifted to different election years
  • Respect voters’ choices / continuity in office
  • Future population growth

What are Communities of Interest?

A community of interest is a “contiguous population that shares common social and economic interests that should be included within a single district for purposes of its effective and fair representation.” They are the overlapping sets of neighborhoods, networks, and groups that share interests, views, cultures, histories, languages, and values and whose boundaries can be identified on a map. The following elements help define communities of interest:

  • shared interests in schools, housing, community safety, transit, health conditions, land use, environmental conditions, and/or other issues;
  • common social and civic networks, including churches, mosques, temples, homeowner associations, and community centers, and shared use of community spaces, like parks and shopping centers;
  • racial and ethnic compositions, cultural identities, and households that predominantly speak a language other than English;
  • similar socio-economic status, including but not limited to income, home-ownership, and education levels;
  • shared political boundary lines from other jurisdictions, such as school districts, community college districts, and water districts

Common acronyms in districting:

  • ACS: American Community Survey
  • CDP: Census Designated Place
  • CDR: Center for Demographic Research
  • CVAP: Citizen Voting Age Population
  • CVRA: California Voting Rights Act
  • FAIR MAPS Act: Fair and Inclusive Redistricting for Municipalities and Political Subdivisions (applies to cities and counties)
  • P.L. 94-171: Public Law 94-171
  • ROV: Registrar of Voters
  • SWDB: California Statewide Database
  • BBK: Best Best & Krieger