On Monday, the city of Palmdale stated they would appeal to the California Supreme Court regarding a recent ruling that said their November 5th city council election results should be thrown out. The judge ruled that the city’s system disenfranchises minorities; therefore, the results should not be counted.
Palmdale’s City Attorney Matthew Ditzhazy said in a recent statement that the city is “firmly committed to seeing that the voice of Palmdale residents is clearly heard in the election process and not subjected to interference by outside special interests.”
Palmdale currently has an at-large system of elections, where voters throughout the city choose from a common pool of candidates. Plaintiffs in the case argued that this dilutes the votes of Palmdale’s Latino and African American population.
Superior Court Judge Mark Mooney ruled in the favor of the plaintiffs, and only last week, the 2nd District Court of Appeal upheld Mooney’s decision. Palmdale’s city council voted unanimously to ask the Supreme Court to look at the case shortly after the ruling was upheld.
Palmdale’s city attorney said in a statement that the voters upheld the current at-large system in both 2001 and 2009 when there was an opportunity to change it to a district-based system.
Regardless of the outcome, many are frustrated that the legal battle is costing the city’s taxpayers. The court ordered Palmdale to pay the plaintiffs and their lawyers approximately $3 million.
Read more about the appeal here.