In the year since the city of Palmdale’s at-large election system was found by a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge to have violated the California Voting Rights Act, city officials have responded aggressively. Instead of fighting so hard to keep the status quo, Palmdale should turn its attention to fixing a broken electoral system. In the fall, after Judge Mark V. Mooney ordered the city to cancel its Nov. 5 at-large election, Palmdale officials persuaded California’s 2nd District Court of Appeal to allow the election to proceed. Then, in the winter, Mooney banned the certification of the election results and ordered a new election by district rather than at large; Palmdale again appealed, arguing that as a charter city, it was not governed by the state Voting Rights Act.
In the spring, the appellate court upheld Mooney’s ban. So this summer, Palmdale officials went further, asking the California Supreme Court to weigh in.
What’s that adage about doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result? Of course, Palmdale officials are within their rights to appeal until they run out of courts, but to be honest, their efforts look more and more like a colossal waste of time and money.