California: Voting Rights Act leading California cities to dump at-large elections | Los Angeles Times
First came Modesto. Then Compton, Anaheim, Escondido, Whittier, Palmdale and others were pushed into the growing ranks of California cities under pressure to change how they elect their city councils. Activists seeking minority representation on those councils are clamoring to have members elected by geographic district. Ethnically diverse cities that hold at-large elections and have few minority officeholders have proved vulnerable to lawsuits under the 11-year-old California Voting Rights Act. All a plaintiff has to do, experts say, is demonstrate that racially polarized voting exists — and often that can be done with election results that reveal contrasting outcomes between predominantly minority precincts and white ones. Across California, community college and school districts are making the switch.