A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge has ruled that cumulative voting cannot be used in the 2016 Santa Clarita City Council election.
Cumulative voting – where people could choose to cast up to 3 votes for their favorite City Council member, was agreed upon as part of a California Voting Rights Act lawsuit lodged against the city by Democratic activists Jim Soliz and Rosemarie Sanchez-Fraser. The pair allege that the city’s at-large voting system, in use since the city was formed in 1987, is a barrier to Latino participation.
But on Sept. 14, after receiving a letter from California Secretary of State Alex Padilla, Judge Terry A. Green ruled that while it might be technically possible to rig the current ballot-tabulation machinery to handle cumulative voting, state law “does not define any cumulative voting ballot tabulation methods by which testing and certification criteria could be developed” by the Secretary of State’s office.