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CVRA

    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.

    Hart District Superintendent Makes Statement On Election Changes

    Hart district Superintendent Rob Challinor sent a message to the Santa Clarita Valley on Thursday, saying while the district is changing to area-based elections, “It will not alter the way the district is governed.” Hart district officials decided to move to districts with a 4-1 vote July 16 because the change provided officials with a “safe harbor” from a potential lawsuit, said Hart district governing board President Steve Sturgeon. “The CVRA has promoted a great deal of legal action and policy discussion throughout the state,” Challinor said. “The Hart board took this proactive step to avoid a potential legal challenge and to honor the law’s intention, which is to ensure that minority groups are not denied the opportunity to elect candidates and/or pass measures of their choice.”

    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Clarita Valley governing boards’ approval of election changes in response to California Voting Rights Act concerns, an outdated county system won’t be able to handle the changes for at least another four years, officials said.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.”

    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.

    Sulphur Springs School District To Adopt Districts As Part Of Lawsuit Settlement

    Sulphur Springs School District officials approved settlement negotiations with attorneys in a lawsuit alleging the district's elections are discriminatory

    Palmdale Given Final Statement CVRA Lawsuit, City To Appeal

    A judge issued his final ruling in a lawsuit against the city of Palmdale which claims the city is in violation of the California Voting Rights Act due to its at-large elections for City Council

    Palmdale Lawsuit Leaves City Council Votes In Flux

    In court transcripts obtained by KHTS AM-1220, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge clarifies his intent to halt Palmdale’s City Council election.


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