Voting has become a major issue nationwide,with both ‘right-leaning’ and ‘left-leaning’ constituents feeling disenfranchised. The seeming conservative solution of this political era is to restrict access to the vote for those demographics that tend to lean towards liberal politics and issues.
The combative voting rights struggle between the ‘right’ and the ‘left’ has now hit California. A movement is forming from the ‘right’s’ perspective that challenges the California Voting Rights Act. Some politically-invested proponents of voting rights maintain that the challenge could make it more difficult to elect non-white candidates in California and perhaps nationwide.
The challenge and complaint was filed by Virginia-based Project on Fair Representation. The Project on Fair Representation is responsible for the Voting Rights lawsuit filed in Shelby County, Alabama that culminated in the 2013 Supreme Court’s removal of the national Voting Rights Act’s key enforcement equation. The organization also contributed to drafting the suit that challenged affirmative action in admissions to state universities.
Last week the leader of the Project on Fair Representation, Ed Blum, filed a suit targeting the California Voting Rights Act, branding the law as unconstitutional. The suit maintains the voting law allows the state to force creation of local political districts that consider racial representation rather than top vote getters.
In passing the California Voting Rights Act, the California Legislature determined that local election districts strengthen voter influence in political representation, where bigger at-large districts tend to dilute voters’ voice in political outcomes. At-large districts tend to include out-lying areas whose interests don’t always align with inner city or minority concerns.
“The CVRA has recently been utilized by a handful of attorneys to demand that dozens of California localities to abandon longstanding, at-large forms of voting systems in favor of race-based, single-member districts,” Blum’s press release stated. “The lawsuit asserts that the California Legislature did not follow Supreme Court decisions making clear that race cannot be the predominant factor in redistricting. The complaint emphasizes that the California Voting Rights Act makes race the only factor in redistricting.”
The focus of Blum’s case is the city of Poway in Southern California, whose mayor favors maintaining the city’s at-large campaign and voting system. However the lawsuit could gain the momentum to end up in the Supreme Court.
More information is available on the suit against the California Voting Rights Act in the article ALTERNET: Right-Wing Crusader Launches Dangerous Project That Could Slash the Number of Elected Minorities in California, from which this notification was derived.