The county’s chief elections official rejected a last-ditch effort to put the district elections on the ballot, after the mayor refused to sign the necessary paperwork. A majority of council members also apparently held an illegal strategy meeting via group text messages.
After an emotional and contentious debate Tuesday, council members voted 4-3 to put the districting issue to voters in June. Mayor Miguel Pulido, who opposes the measure, apparently has refused to sign the paperwork needed to put the measure on the ballot.
Mission Viejo is looking for an alternative to solve its racially polarized voting problem after the City Council decided unanimously district elections won’t work for the city in an unprecedented move for an Orange County city struggling with racially separated voting attitudes.
South Orange County had its share of challenges in 2017: a Laguna Niguel Mayor stepping down and eventually resigning from the council after being accused of bullying while he found contract cost overruns, two cities switching to district elections and a wireless firm contracting with various cities while making unclear promises of legal protections and taking a large percentage of revenue.
Mission Viejo could move from at-large elections to district elections after a voting rights attorney sent a demand letter warning the city it is violating state law because the current voting system disenfranchises minorities from getting elected.
The Anaheim City Council this week narrowly approved a plan to dismiss all appointees to city boards and commissions so as to create more equal representation under the city’s new district-based electoral system.
Hopes that Santa Ana would give voters a chance to transform the city’s electoral systems were dealt a blow this week when the City Council voted down a proposal. But activists signaled that they would take up the cause.