(KHTS) – Newhall School District officials approved the move to a district-based election Tuesday on a 4-1 vote, officials said.
The district also chose a new map of the district, which divides the district into five geographic areas, with voters now selecting their representative for their respective districts.
The move was an attempt to avoid a lawsuit alleging a California Voting Rights Act violation, as several Santa Clarita Valley school boards have been hit with complaints of this nature in the last two years.
Board President Mike Shapiro was the lone vote against.
Each incumbent is in his or her own district, according to the map. The projected demographics of the new districts were not available on the district’s website.
From a previous story:
Newhall Schools Plan Move To District-Based Elections
The district previously planned to move to cumulative voting and even-year November elections, but district officials said there was concern those moves might have still prompted a lawsuit alleging a California Voting Rights Act violation, officials said.
“We were really looking at the best possible option for adhering to the intent of the law, which is to maximize participation (from the protected classes in the CVRA),” said board member Christy Smith, referring to the previous plan, “which is the spirit and intent of the law.”
However, after county officials indicated cumulative votes would not be something the Registrar Recorder’s Office could accommodate immediately, district officials decided “trustee area” elections, or districts, would be the best route.
“Trustee areas is the method that has been upheld by all of the court cases, so far,” Smith said.
The board authorized up to $19,500 to National Demographics Corp. to create options for the district.
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