Alejo bill aims to strengthen minority protections in elections

30th District Assemmbly Member Luis Alejo speaks in 2014 during the South Valley Legislative Summit at the Hilton Garden Inn.

Local State Assemblyman Luis Alejo has introduced a bill with a goal of preventing minority groups from being disenfranchised in elections, according to his office.
Alejo, D-Salinas, introduced Assembly Bill 182 that would expand the California Voting Rights Act of 2001. It would allow challenges to district-based elections that are imposed in a way that “impairs the ability of a protected class of voters to elect candidates of their choice.”
According to Alejo’s office in a statement:
Both the Federal and the California Voting Rights Acts were landmark pieces of legislation that sought to prohibit and prevent discriminatory voting practices. This measure will further these protections and ensure fair representation and accountability at the local level by preventing jurisdictions that draw new district lines in a way that will further marginalize minorities.
AB 182 is a reintroduction of a 2014 bill, Senate Bill 1365, by now Secretary of State Alex Padilla.  Last year’s effort by then Senator Padilla made it through both houses of the Legislature but was vetoed by Governor Jerry Brown.  While the Governor did not sign SB 1365, he did recognize that there is still work to be done “to ensure that the voting strength of minority communities is not diluted.”
“I look forward to working with the Governor so that this bill gets signed this year,” states Alejo.  “It is important that every individual in California has a voice in order to move our state toward a better future.”
This bill will be eligible to be heard in a California State Assembly policy committee after 30 days of being in print.

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