Polling places are open for early voting throughout San Diego County.
A sign to a polling place in San Diego County. Photo by Chris Stone

Redistricting is the way we change our political districts that determine who will represent us in the House of Representatives, our state Senate and Assembly, and many local offices.

This happens every 10 years after the U.S. Census. The process is essential to the functioning of democracy, and it plays a critical role in the distribution of political power.

The process is supposed to take place independent of political influence and with the input of communities. The objective is the rebalancing of districts based on population growth.

With the redistricting process now complete in California and the new district boundaries drawn, it is important for voters to become familiar with the candidates and elected officials who will now be on the ballot. They may be different than the names you have grown accustomed to seeing and voting for over prior years.

As a new candidate for state Assembly this year, I encourage all voters to do your research on each candidate so you can make informed decisions. It is important in your research to not only find candidates with beliefs and positions that match yours and that of your community, but also consider such factors as experience in holding other public offices as well as consistent and important service to the community.

You can even contact the candidates directly to ask about their views, experience, and service to the community prior to becoming a candidate.

I’m a candidate for Assembly District 76. This is a district that has been redrawn with the addition of new communities, including San Marcos and Escondido, and the subtraction of Poway.

My background includes a long history of real and impactful community service, and I currently serve as an local elected official. I am also businesswomen with private industry experience, a wife and mother.

Please take a bit of time to learn about all of the candidates for this newly drawn district, or whatever district you happen to live in.

You may think you know the potential candidates in your area. But with redistricting, that may not be the case. It is important that voters learn about all candidates, regardless of the race, to ensure that your concerns, values and voice are heard and represented.

Kristie Bruce-Lane is the founder of The Thumbprint Project Foundation, a nonprofit that aids homeless children who have been hurt by domestic violence.  She currently serves on the Olivenhain Municipal Water District board. She lives in 4S Ranch with her husband Todd and their 5-year-old son Luke.