Governor Suspends Deadlines for Converting to District Elections

by on March 21, 2020

posted in Elections,

On March 20, the Governor issued another in a series of executive orders related to the COVID-19 public-health emergency that, among other things, suspended the deadlines related to the process of converting from at-large to district elections.  Specifically, the order suspends the deadlines provided in Elections Code section 10010 related to voluntary conversions undertaken in response to claimed violations of the California Voting Rights Act (“CVRA”).  Effectively, this means that cities and special districts that have received demands to convert to district elections, and cities and districts that have chosen to convert to district elections, must suspend their hearing and decision-making processes in light of this new order.  The suspension will run “until such time as neither state nor local public health officials recommend or impose social distancing measures …”

This latest executive order was clearly necessary.  The process of converting from at-large to district elections involves a fundamental change in an electorate’s relationship with its elected officials.  This type of change is not something that can appropriately be handled by the telephonic and audiovisual meetings that many cities and special districts have switched to in light of the COVID-19 emergency.

tags: At Large Elections, California Voting Rights Act, COVID-19, District Elections, Executive Order,

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