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California Voting Rights Act

    Court OKs Cumulative Voting For Santa Clarita Elections

    A Los Angeles Superior Court judge upheld cumulative voting as a remedy for a lawsuit against Santa Clarita claiming the city violated the California Voting Rights Act, officials said Monday. The suit claimed the city was in violation of the CVRA with its at-large elections that disenfranchised minority voters. After a settlement conference, the city and Shenkman & Hughes, the firm representing the plaintiffs, eventually came to terms.

    State Supreme Court Denies Palmdale Review Of CVRA Decision

    California Supreme Court justices will not review an appellate panel's decision finding Palmdale's at-large elections violate the California Voting Rights Act, an attorney for the plaintiff said Wednesday.

    County System Can't Handle Cumulative Voting, Local November Elections

    Despite Santa Clarita Valley governing boards’ approval of election changes in response to California Voting Rights Act concerns, an outdated county system won’t be able to handle the changes for at least another four years, officials said. “Our current voting system both the devices we use at the polls and, more importantly, the tabulations system we use... can not run a cumulative voting system,” said Efrain Escobedo, governmental and legislative affairs manager for the Los Angeles County’s Registrar-Recorder’s Office. “It’s just the limitations of the technology,” he said, referring to a voting system created in the late 1960s.

    Hart Board Votes 4-1 To Change Election System For High School District

    Hart district officials changed their elections with a 4-1 vote Wednesday, following a discussion at the Santa Clarita Valley high school district’s governing board meeting. The change wasn’t a popular choice among board members, but it provided them with a “safe harbor” from a potential lawsuit, said Hart district governing board President Steve Sturgeon. “All five board members basically testified last night that we should be able to vote at large -- it gives an opportunity for the entire population to choose who their representatives are,” Sturgeon said. “So this becomes a little more exclusive to an area, which was the intent, and we’ll see how it works.”

    Santa Clarita Questions Legality Of Voting Rights Lawsuit Settlement

    Santa Clarita officials questioned the legality of their own settlement in a California Voting Rights Act lawsuit in a briefing filed this week. The filing is a result of Santa Clarita officials’ uncertainty over whether their agreed-upon settlement is legal and feasible, said Joe Montes, Santa Clarita city attorney. “If cumulative voting is not permitted and we’re not allowed to change the election date, then the parties will have to confer again as to how the matter will proceed,” Montes said. “It could mean that the litigation resumes, it could mean settlement talks could have to resume -- that’s just too far off to speculate at this point.”

    Newhall School District Looking At Moving Elections, Cumulative Voting

    Newhall School District governing board members directed Superintendent Marc Winger to “investigate the process of initiating a change to cumulative voting and even-year elections in order to address potential concerns under the California Voting Rights Act,” an official said Tuesday. The election change was approved at the governing board’s meeting in response to the district’s monitoring of recent CVRA lawsuits in the area, according to district officials. The Newhall School District will change its elections “assuming recent settlement agreements initiating the transition to cumulative voting and even year elections are held to be legally valid,” according to officials.

    Hart District Announces Intent To Look At District-Based Elections

    Hart district officials announced their intent to look at district-based elections for the junior high and high school district's governing board Wednesday.


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    4 Santa Clarita Valley School Districts Sent Letters On Voting Rights Act

    Four Santa Clarita Valley school districts, Newhall, Saugus Union, Castaic Union and Hart, were sent letters warning of California Voting Rights Act violation by a law firm Saturday. The letter was sent by the law firm Shenkman & Hughes, which represented two plaintiffs in three other similar Santa Clarita Valley lawsuits. The letters come days after the Santa Clarita Community College District disclosed the costliest Santa Clarita Valley settlement terms yet in three lawsuits over similar allegations.

    COC Governing Board Discloses Terms Of Voting Rights Act Settlement

    Elections for COC's governing board will move to cumulative voting and line up with the November ballots as settlement terms for a California Voting Rights Act lawsuit

    COC Board Agrees To Settlement In Voting Rights Act Lawsuit

    College of the Canyons governing board agreed Wednesday to terms for the settlement of a California Voting Rights Act lawsuit, according to a report out of closed session. 


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    The terms of the deal were filed Tuesday confidentially at Stanley Mosk Courthouse in Los Angeles, according to a court official.