Violating the California Voting Rights Act? Uncovering Racially Polarized Voting in a Majority Latino City’'s At-Large Council Elections

20 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2012 Last revised: 7 Aug 2012

Eric Lindgren

Whittier College

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

Are at-large formats for electing city councils inherently discriminatory? This paper briefly reviews the history of the introduction of at-large elections during the Progressive Era. Then it examines the standards under the Federal Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the California Voting Rights Act of 2001 for determining whether or not an at-large election is discriminatory. Finally, the paper analyzes the 2010 Whittier city council elections, finding evidence of racially polarized voting by non-Latino voters, which diluted minority voting power and denied them the ability to elect candidates of their choice.

Keywords: at-large elections, District elections, Voting Rights Act, California Voting Rights Act, Whittier, City Council, Minority Voting Power, Racially Polarized Voting

Suggested Citation

Lindgren, Eric, Violating the California Voting Rights Act? Uncovering Racially Polarized Voting in a Majority Latino City’'s At-Large Council Elections (2012). APSA 2012 Annual Meeting Paper. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2107848

Eric Lindgren (Contact Author)

Whittier College ( email )

13406 E. Philadelphia St.
Whittier, CA 90608
United States

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