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Government and Politics

SLO County Board of Supervisors finalizes Patten map as final district map for next ten years

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The SLO County Board of Supervisors finalized the Patten map on Tuesday.

The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors finalized a new district map Tuesday that redraws the county's district lines for the next ten years.

The new district lines are based on the Patten map, named after Arroyo Grande resident Richard Patten, who initially drew it. It substantially redraws the boundaries of SLO County's five districts and was chosen over another map from the SLO Chamber of Commerce which would have made more minor changes.

The Patten map is supported by the local Republican Party and was approved by the three conservative supervisors — Lynn Compton, John Peschong and Debbie Arnold — over the objections of the two liberal supervisors, Bruce Gibson and Dawn Ortiz-Legg.

The new map splits the North Coast area into three pieces, putting Los Osos in one district and Morro Bay in another.

Meanwhile Cayucos, Cambria and the rest of the North Coast region are now in a district with the city of Atascadero.

The City of San Luis Obispo remains divided between multiple districts in the Patten map, just as it was under the former district map.

Redistricting happens every ten years after the results of the U.S. Census.

After Tuesday afternoon's vote, a group calling itself a "bipartisan coalition of San Luis Obispo County residents" announced a plan to sue the SLO County supervisors through a nonprofit called SLO Citizens for Good Government.

“We believe the supervisors’ formal adoption Tuesday of the so-called Patten map clearly violates California election law,” said Linda Seifert, director of SLO County Citizens for Good Government, in a press release.

Seifert argues the board chose a map that favors Republican voters and will preserve a conservative majority on the board for the next ten years if the legal challenge is unsuccessful.

A data analysis by the San Luis Obispo Tribune found that the new map increases Republican advantage in the county by creating three districts that favor Republicans and two that favor Democrats.

This is despite the fact that registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by about 6,000 voters in SLO County.

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