May 23, 2011 | Central Coast News | Original Article

Redistricting Maps May Affect Latino Vote

MONTEREY County, Calif- Drawing up new voting districts may seem like a confusing and daunting task but its crucial to residents' vote. New districts could have a big impact on one particular group.

Redrawing the lines for each district could mean an increase in Latino representation.

"We try to break down barriers. When I first got elected over 20 years ago, there was that fear of not knowing who the representative for would be," said Simon Salinas.

But new district borders could help change that. Monterey County Supervisor Simon Salinas said they would help balance the Hispanic population across the county, meaning more supervisors could be in touch with the people they represent.

"They could be more in sync with those communities. Certainly healthcare is really important, education, programs for the young people, how many hours we have for the libraries."

One day after the state's redistricting committee visited Salinas, coordinator Susan Lyons said it's important Latinos believe they're fairly represented in local government.

"We want to get as close as possible to an even number while protecting all citizens and to redistrict with minimal amount of change," said Lyons.

Redistricting maps will be ready to go in November and will be used for the 2012 elections