Guidance for Letters of Recommendation

Each applicant must supply three letters of recommendation from individuals or organizations. Each letter of recommendation may be no longer than or 12,800 characters, or about three pages, and each letter of recommendation must contain your unique identification number.

Sections of Letters of Recommendation

Typically, letters of recommendation have three sections. The first section is usually for the person writing the recommendation to explain who they are and in what capacity they are writing the letter. In addition, the first section of the letter introduces you, the applicant, and how long the recommender has known you.

The second section, usually the largest, is typically used for explaining the qualities of the person being recommended and to set out their accomplishments. Specific examples are helpful. It is also important for the person making the recommendation to describe their experience with the person receiving the recommendation.

The third section is typically used to summarize the qualities of the person receiving the recommendation and to reinforce their positive attributes. This is where the actual recommendation usually occurs (e.g. I enthusiastically recommend..., I am pleased to recommend..., etc.).

Whom to ask for references?

It is important to know your references and to ask their permission to use them to write the recommendations. You need responsive people who can attest to the qualifications that you believe would make you a good commissioner. It is also important to have a good idea of what they are going to say about you and your qualifications.

Good Letters

Good letters of recommendations show both strengths and weaknesses, are detailed, insightful, and professional. They should provide important insight into an individual's character, integrity, and motivation for applying to serve on the Citizens Redistricting Commission. They should also address the individual's ability to be impartial, their relevant analytical skills, and their appreciation for the State's diversity.

Online Submission

The preferred and most secure method of submission for letters of recommendation is online via the links the State Auditor's Office sent to every applicant who submitted a supplemental application. Your applicant profile will also contain the three links, one to give to each of the three individuals who will be submitting letters of recommendation on your behalf. Each link may be used for one letter of recommendation and will expire once the letter has been submitted using that link. The individual or organization submitting a letter of recommendation may cut and paste text from any word processing program, such as Microsoft Word, into the fields on the submission web page.

While online submission of letters of recommendation is preferred, you may also submit letters of recommendation via email to, by facsimile to (888) 694-5288, or by U.S. Mail or other common carrier sent to the address provided below. Emailed, faxed, or mailed letters of recommendation must have the applicant's identification number and the letter of recommendation number (1, 2, or 3) that corresponds to the online link provided to the applicant. Mailed letters of recommendation must be addressed to the Applicant Review Panel and can be mailed to:

Applicant Review Panel
c/o California State Auditor's Office
621 Capitol Mall, Suite 1200
Sacramento, California, 95814

Letters of recommendation sent to the State Auditor's Office that are not received or postmarked by October 20, 2019, will not be considered, and the applicant will not continue on in the application process.