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By Daniel Ritz
During their meeting on May 15, the Dana Point City Council adopted a five-district, by district, method election system and sequence for City Council elections. The 4-1 vote, with Councilmember Debra Lewis dissenting—changes the city’s current at-large election process. A by-district election process means voters within a designated City Council electoral district elect one City Council member who must also reside in and be a registered voter of that district.
“While this has been a challenging process, we have worked extensively with our community to analyze and identify the best possible solution for the city while meeting the legal demands imposed on us by the state legislature,” Mayor Richard A. Viczorek said in a press release made by the city on May 16. “It has been our objective from the beginning to work toward keeping neighborhoods and communities of interest together.”
The change to by-district elections was required to ensure that the city did not violate the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA) which prohibits the use of an at-large election in a political subdivision if it would impair the ability of a protected class, as defined, to elect candidates of its choice or otherwise influence the outcome of an election.
The map adopted by the City Council can be found on the city’s website www.danapoint.org. The filing period for City Council candidates is July 16 through Aug.10. Districts 1, 2 and 3 will be up for election on Nov. 6. Districts 4 and 5 will be up for election on Nov. 3, 2020.