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File #: 19-1008   
Type: Report to Council Status: Passed
Meeting Body: City Council
On agenda: 10/8/2019
Title: Presentation and Discussion of Election Sequencing Principles for City Council By-District Elections
Attachments: 1. Presentation to Council 20191008
REPORT TO COUNCIL

SUBJECT
Title
Presentation and Discussion of Election Sequencing Principles for City Council By-District Elections

Report
DISCUSSION
During the City Council's discussion of draft district maps on September 10, 2019, the Council requested further discussion regarding election sequencing (i.e., setting the election year for each new district in either the Presidential or the Gubernatorial election year) as part of the transition to district-based elections. Staff and outside counsel will make a presentation on election sequencing issues, including sample hypothetical transition scenarios to demonstrate how sequencing could work. This is an informational item only, to facilitate Council discussion and questions. As noted in other reports, the City Council will make a final determination on election sequencing and the transition to districts when it selects a districting map on December 3, 2019.

Elections Code section 10010(b) is the only provision in state law that addresses principles applicable to sequencing:

(b) In determining the final sequence of the district elections conducted in a political subdivision in which members of the governing body will be elected at different times to provide for staggered terms of office, the governing body shall give special consideration to the purposes of the California Voting Rights Act of 2001 (Chapter 1.5 (commencing with Section 14025) of Division 14 of this code), and it shall take into account the preferences expressed by members of the districts. (Emphasis added.)

Other than section 10010(b), there is no generally applicable law specifying how a transition to district elections must occur, so long as the transition scheme complies with equal protection requirements. Pursuant to the requirement to "give special consideration to the purposes of the California Voting Rights Act", scheduling elections for a district intended to address CVRA concerns alleged by members of a protected class ("CVRA reme...

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