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Analysis: ABCUSD and the California Voting Rights Act

By Brian Hews

A study by Los Cerritos Community News has revealed that ABCUSD is likely in violation of the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) and that the district should be broken into Trustee Areas for future elections.

The study was further validated by the lawsuit filed by MALDEF against the district this week.

Under the CVRA, local governments can’t hold at-large elections-in which the entire community votes for all elected positions-if that system weakens the ability of minorities to elect candidates of their choice.

The CVRA says that at-large elections are illegal when a jurisdiction has racially polarized voting and drawing districts would give the ethnic group an ability to influence elections.

LCCN worked with one of the top CVRA consultants in California who directed LCCN to look at ethnic clusters and the total voting age population within the ABCUSD.
Out of a total population of 106,000, 8% were Black, 43% Asian, and 32% Latino. Out of the total voting age population of 64,268, 8% were Black, 42% Asian, and an astounding 23% Latino.

The study also showed the district having significant ethnic groups clustered into geographic areas. The maps below show the ethnic populations as they are clustered in parts of the ABC District.


Additional Analysis
Another method used in CVRA analysis is to show that these ethnic clusters can be seen within election results.

Since the Latino clusters were much larger, LCCN looked at the voting patterns on polarizing California propositions and candidates in elections, specifically Prop. 187, and elections between Bustamante vs. Schwarzenegger and Davey Jones vs. Hector De La Torre.

The maps below display the results for ballot measures and candidate campaigns and clearly show the ethnic clusters in the previous study above can be seen in the election results.


The Prop 187 voting pattern almost exactly matches the heavy Latino clusters, as do the Bustamante and De La Torre map.

Census Blocks Analysis
Another analysis that looked at census blocks identified 83 blocks within the ABC, providing a database of 12,000 residents that are on average 93% Latino. From this analyis, a 52% Latino district could be created.

“If this is true,” said the consultant, “then the issue isn’t just a California issue – it is also a Federal Voting Rights Act issue.”

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