Whittier Voters Approve District-Based Voting Measure

A ballot measure requiring district-based voting for city elections in Whittier received a thumbs up from voters Tuesday. 

Measure W, which was placed on the ballot by the city council in August, triumphed by 52.9 percent, with final tallies showing 2,972 “yes” votes and 2,646 “no” votes. 

With the measure approved, city officials said they will work towards the dismissal of a lawsuit brought by a group of Latino residents. The group has alleged that the city’s at-large election system violates the California Voting Rights Act by diluting Latinos’ voting power.

“The Whittier City Council is pleased that Whittier’s voters were able to choose for themselves their preferred method of electing their council members,” said a city statement released Wednesday. “Now that the measure has passed, the council will begin to take steps to form the required districts, with public input, in conformity with California law.”

The plaintiffs’ attorney, Rod Pacheco, however, said there was no basis for the lawsuit’s dismissal. In addition to district-based voting, his clients have called for changing election dates from April to November to increase voter turnout. The group took no position on Measure W.

Read more about Tuesday’s vote here.