NewsCovering Kern County


MALDEF lawsuit could result in new voting districts

Posted at 5:11 PM, Mar 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-28 20:47:13-04

A decision on whether or not Kern County will be re-districted to better represent the Latino community was expected on Wednesday but has been pushed back.

In April 2016 the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) filed a lawsuit against the Kern County Board of Supervisors saying their 2011 re-districting plan diluted the Latino vote in the county.

MALDEF argues that despite the fact that Latinos make up 34 percent of Kern County's voters, Latinos only represent a majority in one of the county's five districts, and it is the only district with a Latina representative.

MALDEF says this prevents Latinos from being able to impact the Board of Supervisors elections. They hope those boundaries will be re-done to better serve the Latino community by the June elections.

Earlier this month, a judge in Fresno said a compromise needed to be reached with the help of a Magistrate Judge by Wednesday but now that has been pushed back to Friday.

That proposal will be presented to the Board in a closed session.

If approved, the proposal will be brought back to the Federal Court House to be finalized and put into public record.

If the compromise isn't approved, the county will be taking it's chances, and a federal judge will be making an order.