Resolution Opposing At-Large Voting System and Supporting District-Based Voting System in Local Elections

Nik Swiatek October 8, 2013 0

Whereas, the California Voting Rights Act of 2002 has served to expand the scope of the statutory safeguards provided by the federal Voting Rights Act of 1965; it has provided protections to California’s minority voters from disenfranchisement and has helped ensure that the votes of minority voters in local election jurisdictions are not diluted by at-large voting systems;

Whereas, Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Mark V. Mooney has halted the City Council elections in the City of Palmdale, a minority-majority city where Latinos and African Americans account for 69% of the population; the Judge cited the City’s at-large election system for violating the California Voting Rights Act by diluting the impact of their votes and creating disparate electoral representation in the City government; to wit, only one minority candidate has been elected to the Palmdale City Council since the 1960s;

Whereas, several other minority-majority local election jurisdictions across California that similarly use at-large voting system are under scrutiny under the California Voting Rights Act; there are pending challenges to these jurisdictions to replace at-large voting systems with district-based voting systems, in order to ensure that minority voters are fairly represented and that these voters are afforded the opportunity to elect representatives of their choice to their local governments;

Therefore be it resolved, that the Los Angeles County Democratic Party support all efforts to protect minority voting rights and uphold the principles of equal representation in the City of Palmdale and throughout California; and

Be it further resolved, that the Los Angeles County Democratic Party support all efforts to uphold the principles of the California Voting Rights Act and to replace at-large voting system in local election jurisdictions with district-based voting system to afford all voters the opportunity the elect representatives of their choice.

Submitted by: Eric C. Bauman, LACDP Chair, AD 46 and Clark Lee, AD 55

Passed by LACDP 10/8/13

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