Federal Judge Rules Kern County Violated Latino Voting Rights

February 24, 2018 /

BAKERSFIELD-, Calif.- The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) just announced that a federal judge ruled today that the redistricting decisions adopted by the Kern County Board of Supervisor’s in 2011 are in violation of the 1965 Federal Voting Rights Act and unlawfully denies Latinos to elect candidates of their choice.

“Today’s decision should stand as a warning to other counties in California, a number of which also failed to comply with the Voting Rights Act during the last round of redistricting,” said Thomas A. Saenz, president and general counsel of MALDEF in a statement. “The growing Latino community is entitled to representation, and drawing lines to protect incumbents risks costly litigation to secure an eventual remedy to protect voters’ rights.”

“The court agreed with Plaintiffs that the boundary between District 1 and District 4 unlawfully fractures a large cohesive Latino community, submerging their votes in the larger Anglo electorate in both districts, thereby diluting Latino voters’ ability to participate effectively in the political process,” the statement says.