CWmike writes "As the 2010 U.S. census results arrived, Los Angeles County's politicians started ramping up for redistricting — the once-a-decade, computing-intensive, often contentious process of geographically carving up the populace into discrete parcels of voters. In the past, such decisions were made by politicians using expensive computer systems and software. Participation in the process was limited to an elite few who could afford experts who understood redistricting's arcane rules and GIS technology well enough to game them. This year, however, it won't just be the politicians and special interest groups poring over the data and tweaking boundary lines. All 4.5 million registered voters in LA County have access to a cloud-based redistricting application called the Public Access Plan that lets voters view and modify existing maps and boundaries, submit comments, and even create and submit their own plans from scratch. LA County is among the first government entities to consider providing Web-based tools that allow for direct public participation. 'This notion of public access has changed quite dramatically,' says Tim Storey, a senior fellow at the National Conference of State Legislatures. 'Throwing that wide open is a big step.' The big question now is whether the public will use it."