Election Lawsuits are Spreading Across California Cities
Under the provisions of the 2002 California Voting Rights Act seven cities. four in the last two years — have been sued under the 2002 state law. Nine county governments, community colleges and school districts have also been sued and nearly 100 others have switched to districts voluntarily based on the threat of litigation.
The law removes a legal hurdle included in the 1965 federal Voting Rights Act that allows for plaintiffs in California to prove minority votes are diluted in at-large elections.
It also makes municipalities who can’t demonstrate that minorities are fairly represented in citywide voting responsible for plaintiffs’ legal fees.
The city of Escondido faces a lawsuit that is forcing it to move to city council elections by district, rather than at-large voting. Similar lawsuits are spreading across California.
We can expect to see more California cities moving to district elections very soon.
Ultimately, this will mean more candidates running for office in every election.