Lawsuit claims city blocks minority candidates - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Lawsuit claims city blocks minority candidates

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BELLFLOWER, Calif. (AP) - Latino and black voters are suing a Southern California city over an election system they claim excludes minorities from the City Council.

The suit, filed Monday, says Bellflower's system of electing five council members at large instead of choosing each one from a specific area dilutes the voting strength of minorities.

It notes that no blacks or Latinos are on the council even though they represent more than half of the eligible voters.

The lawsuit, which claims violations of the state Voting Rights Act, was filed on behalf of three city residents by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

Assistant to the city manager Ryan Smoot says the city hasn't received the lawsuit and has no official statement.

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