Since the City of Oxnard was incorporated in 1903, the City has elected its Council members through an at-large election system. Under this system, candidates for the City Council can reside anywhere in the City and are elected by the registered voters of the entire City. (The Mayor is separately elected, but is also elected through an at-large election system.)
The City received a demand letter dated Oct. 7, 2017 claiming that the City’s current method of electing the City Council through at-large elections violates the California Voting Rights Act (“CVRA”). The letter alleges that the City’s elections “may be occurring by polarized voting,” and threatens litigation if the City declines to adopt a district-based election system. A district-based election system is one in which a city is divided into geographic sections, and voters in each section choose their City Council representative, who must also live in that district.
Pursuant to Elections Code Section 10010, the City will conduct a series of public hearings over the next 90 days to receive community input on the composition of proposed election districts for City Council seats. It is of utmost importance that Oxnard residents participate and provide feedback during the upcoming public hearings. It is the City’s desire to ensure that the proposed districts reflect communities of interest and that the citizenry be engaged in this urgent matter.
Please see our Frequently Asked Questions page for details about district elections.
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