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Ventura Accused Of Violating Voting Rights; Threatened With Suit Unless It Changes Voting Process

The City of Ventura is the latest government agency on the Central and South Coasts to be threatened with a lawsuit unless it changes the way it conducts municipal elections.

A law firm representing some Ventura residents alleges the city’s current at large city council elections violate the California Voting Rights Act, claiming the results have been racially polarizing. The complaint claims that because of the current process, Latinos living on the city’s historic Westside aren’t getting fair representation. It’s pushing the city to switch to district elections.

Last year, Ventura voters approved a measure which would allow the city council to switch to district elections. Santa Barbara currently uses the district election process, and some other cities in the region like Santa Maria are implementing the process.