Duarte Starts Process to Move to District Based Elections
Duarte, CA - Like more than 60 other cities and 150 school districts across the state, Duarte is starting the process to change how voters elect the City Council. Duarte is in the process of responding to a potential challenge by a private legal group relating to its current At-Large Election Process. As has been the case across the State, challengers to the “at large” voting method allege it is inconsistent with the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA). The City Council has decided to take advantage of recent legislation (AB 350) that provides a short window of opportunity to discuss, invite public input and ultimately decide adopt a District-Based Election Process.
On September 20, 2017, the Duarte City Council adopted a Resolution declaring its intent to transition to district-based elections. While the City does not concede that its current election system is in any way inconsistent with the law, the track record of other “at large” jurisdictions who have refused to make the change, and the prohibitive cost of litigation to defend the at large system, are motivating the change. Other municipalities who have chosen not to make the change have paid as much as $6 million in legal fees.
Pursuant to Elections Code Section 10010, the City will conduct a series of Public Hearings over the next 90 days (click here for schedule) to receive community input on the composition of proposed electoral districts for City Council seats.
The City Council is asking for the public’s help in planning our City’s change to by-district Council elections. It is the City's desire to ensure that the proposed districts reflect prevalent communities of interest, and that the Duarte Community be engaged in this urgent and swift-moving matter.
The intended result is that beginning in November, 2018, elections for council members in Duarte will be by district, instead of the current at-large (also known as citywide) elections in which all voters have the opportunity to make a decision on each council seat. This means that all voters will now vote for the one council member representing the district where they live once every four years.
For up to date information on Duarte’s redistricting process visit www.accessduarte.com