Kern County Supervisors Adopt New District Lines Settling Voting Rights Lawsuit
Kern County Supervisors have adopted new district lines following a legal settlement with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. The group sued the county alleging the 2011 supervisorial redistricting disenfranchised Latino voters by drawing lines that divided communities like Arvin and Delano, diluting their political power. In February MALDEF won the suit in U.S. District Court, setting up settlement talks to draw new district lines and new procedures for upcoming elections. The new lines create a Latino-majority district in District 4, uniting Delano, McFarland, Shafter, Lamont and Arvin. The settlement also moves the scheduled June primary for supervisorial races to November. It also puts the District 4 seat currently occupied by Dave Couch up for election this year. To learn more about what this means for county voters we spoke with reporter James Burger of the Bakersfield Californian.