Compton Elections Will Go On As Planned

Demographic shifts have led to political rifts between the city's black and Latino communities.

By Julianne Hing Jan 20, 2011

On Tuesday a Los Angeles judge disappointed three Latina plaintiffs when she ruled that elections in Compton, California, would go on as originally scheduled. The preliminary ruling would be followed by a final ruling within the week, the LA Times reports.

The women had sued the city government, charging violations under the California Voting Rights Act, and asked that future elections be put on hold in the interim. Under the city’s at-large elections, the plaintiffs said, they were unable to elect a Latino city council person or mayor, even though Latinos are the numerical majority in the city. All four city council seats and the mayor’s position are held by African Americans.

Plaintiffs would prefer elections by district and said that such a system would allow Latinos to elect a Latino representative. The city countered, saying that even if the city used such a system for its 2009 elections, in which two Latino candidates lost, the results would still have been the same.

The LA Times reports that the judge was skeptical of the plaintiffs’ analysis of voting data and said there was insufficient evidence to make a final ruling.