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Election System

OPINION
December 15, 2008
Re "Voting, as easy as 1, 2, 3," Opinion, Dec. Dec. 10 I hope we continue to hear more about instant runoff voting. Blair Bobier presents many reasons to support it. I would add that in our current general and runoff election system, only a fraction of the electorate turns out for a runoff. That small number of voters has the final say, rather than the large number who voted in the general election. I credit the Los Angeles City Council for convening a task force to assure that all the logistics of implementing such a system have been considered.
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OPINION
December 17, 2013
Re "A political game of musical chairs," Dec. 13 Jessica A. Levinson does a good job of explaining how term limits exacerbate the cynical and costly practice of office-jumping by elected officials. If only there was something better than term limits. Well, there could be. I suggest we replace term limits with a system in which an officeholder can run for a third term, but he or she would have to win with at least 55% of the vote. For a fourth term, the threshold would be 60%. What this could achieve, besides giving these office hogs less reason to engage in musical chairs, is an opportunity to keep someone in office if the constituents want it. California is a laboratory for many new ideas and innovations.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 2, 2013 | By Jean Merl
A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge, who earlier this year found the city of Palmdale to be in violation of the California Voting Rights Act, has ordered the city to hold a new by-district election for its four City Council posts. In a ruling dated last week and received by the involved parties over the weekend, Judge Mark V. Mooney ordered that the special election, to replace the balloting for council seats held last month, is to be conducted June 3, the same day as the California primary.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 1, 2012 | By Abby Sewell, Sam Allen and Ann M. Simmons, Los Angeles Times
Responding to long-standing complaints that Latinos are grossly underrepresented in local government, the city of Compton has agreed to settle a voting rights lawsuit with a plan that could change how officials are elected. The suit was aimed at making it easier for Latinos, who now account for nearly two-thirds of the city's 96,000 residents, to gain greater clout at City Hall, where all council members and most of the top city leaders are black. This imbalance has been the subject of much debate over the years as Compton's Latino population has grown and its black population has declined, part of a larger trend that has been reducing African American political clout across L.A. County.
OPINION
August 20, 2012 | Jim Newton
When Disneyland first opened to the public on a sweltering July day in 1955, the city of Anaheim wasn't much more than an orange grove. It had all of 15,000 residents and was known mostly for its Halloween parade. More than half a century later, almost everything has changed. Disneyland helped spur a development boom that has made the city California's 10th largest. Once a suburban and almost entirely white town, it now is 53% Latino and about 15% Asian. Whites make up about 27% of the city's population.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 5, 2000
In your June 27 editorial you "mourned" the end of California's blanket primary by a Supreme Court decision. You hinted that California may even find that the real need is for an effective state campaign reform system. Let's take a look at Maine. That state has enacted full public financing for qualified candidates who are running for state offices. One-third of Maine's candidates are now receiving such public funding. These candidates are enthusiastic about Maine's election system, which frees them from ties to moneyed special-interest groups.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 13, 2012 | By Jean Merl, Los Angeles Times
If the spectacle of two career Democrats going at it over bragging rights to Republican support seems odd, blame it on California's new election system. The June primary sent the top two vote-getters to the November election, producing several same-party contests in which candidates are vying for voters outside their own party. The competition for that unusual support has reached ferocious proportions in the high-profile clash between seasoned Democratic Reps. Brad Sherman and Howard Berman.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 27, 2013 | By Jean Merl
A Latino activist organization is stepping up its longtime efforts to change the way elections are conducted in the city of Whittier, the group announced this week. The Whittier Latino Coalition delivered a letter from its law firm to city officials during Tuesday's council meeting that charged the city of violating state and federal voting rights laws by continuing to elect its council members from the city at large. The coalition believes that at-large voting puts underrepresented minority groups at a disadvantage and wants the city to create geographic districts to elect council members.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 7, 2014 | By Paloma Esquivel
The city of Anaheim will ask voters to decide in November whether to create electoral districts in order to settle a voting rights lawsuit that claimed Latinos were politically disadvantaged in the city's at-large elections. The suit was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union in 2012 on behalf of three residents who accused the city of violating the California Voting Rights Act. It came at a time when turbulent protests over the police shootings of two Latino men had roiled the city and exposed deep divisions between the city's affluent communities and its less-prosperous Latino neighborhoods.
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