A movement to change the way Californians elect their local officials, one that is costing millions of dollars to implement, may find itself in legal limbo. A federal court judge in San Diego is being asked to issue a preliminary injunction that could halt changes being made, under threat of legal action, by dozens of cities, school districts and other agencies statewide in the way they elect their representatives. Last month, former Poway Mayor Don Higginson, being represented by a conservative Washington, D.C. think tank and law firm, filed a lawsuit against the state and Poway challenging the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA).
The lawsuit takes aim at a provision in the CVRA that has forced numerous cities to go from at-large voting methods to electing council members and other local officials by geographic districts.
If approved, the injunction filed Thursday in San Diego federal court would likely suspend such changes scheduled for the November 2018 elections while the lawsuit is being litigated. Many legal experts think the lawsuit could be in the courts for years as it is appealed.
It is unclear when a decision on the injunction might be made.