Q. Why did NCFPD move to District-Based Area Elections?
A. Recently, many cities, school districts and other public entities have had their election systems challenged under the California Voting Rights Act of 2001 (CVRA), leading to very expensive and divisive litigation. The North County Fire Protection District’s Board of Director’s preference is and always has been, to avoid expenditures that do not directly benefit communities it serves. While the District believes its elections have not been racially polarized, a move to District-Based elections enabled us to move forward without the potential of having to defend CVRA litigation in the future and strengthens the representation in the communities we serve.
Q. What is the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA)?
A. The CVRA, enacted in 2002 and updated in 2017, prohibits the use of an at-large election system if it can be shown that such a system results in racially polarized voting. “An at-large method of election may not be imposed or applied in a manner that impairs the ability of a protected class to elect candidates of its choice or its ability to influence the outcome of an election, as a result of the dilution or the abridgment of the rights of voters who are members of a protected class…”
(Election Code, § 14027)
Q. What is a protected class?
A. A class of voters who are members of a race, color or language minority group, as this is referenced and defined in the federal Voting Rights Act.
Q. What is the difference between “At-Large Voting” and “District-Based Area Elections?”
A. At-large elections occur when each board member is elected by all voters within the District. District-Based elections occur when each board member must reside within the designated District-Based-area boundary; and that board member is elected only by the voters in that area.
Q. Does this change the District Boundaries?
A. No. District-Based Area Elections has no impact on District boundaries.
Q. How does this affect my vote?
A. Instead of voting for all five members of the Governing Board, you will vote for the one District-Based Board Member who represents your area of the District.
Q. When will NCFPD make the change to District-Based Area Elections?
A. The first District-Based Area Elections will take place in the 2020 general election.
Q. Will the District-Based Area map change over time?
A. The map will be reviewed for revision after the 2020 Federal Census.
Q. How were the districts drawn?
A. NCFPD was committed to an open and transparent process. The public process began in January to initiate the transition to District-Based elections. NCFPD solicited input for and created District-Based maps. Three draft maps were created for public comment and those comments were considered by the Board when selecting the final map.
Q. Who picked the final map?
A. The NCFPD Governing Board selected and adopted the final map.