Despite various Santa Clarita Valley governing boards’ approval of election changes in response to California Voting Rights Act concerns, an outdated county system won’t be able to handle the changes for at least another four years, officials said. “Our current voting system both the devices we use at the polls and, more importantly, the tabulations system we use… can not run a cumulative voting system,” said Efrain Escobedo, governmental and legislative affairs manager for the Los Angeles County’s Registrar-Recorder’s Office. “It’s just the limitations of the technology,” he said, referring to a voting system created in the late 1960s. And there’s no statewide precedent for how cumulative voting — a system that would allow a voter to cast up to three votes for one candidate in a three-seat race — is to appear on the ballot. “There’s also no voting system currently approved for use in California that can actually do that, either,” he said.
The concern is something Santa Clarita Valley governing boards are watching because two — the city and the Santa Clarita Community College District — have already sought a move to cumulative voting, which isn’t something the county can handle.
Several lawsuit settlements seeking to correct CVRA violations in Santa Clarita Valley elections were approved earlier this year, and for the city, the settlement included a move to cumulative voting and a move to line up the city’s election with the general ballot in November.