Riverside County Sued Over Redistricting

Riverside County is being sued over redistricting maps that were adopted in December. The lawsuit, which alleges disenfranchisement of Latino voters, was filed by five residents along with the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Southern California and the advocacy group Inland Empire United last Tuesday. It names the Board of Supervisors and the county’s registrar of voters.

“For months, Riverside residents demanded the county to do the right thing and adopt maps that would lead to equitable and fair representation,” Michael Gomez Daly, executive director of Inland Empire United, said in a news release. “Instead, the supervisors ignored the community and adopted maps that would ensure they had easier reelections.”

The release calls the final approved map an “incumbency-protection plan that splits up Latino communities of interest and only includes one Latino-majority district.”

The approved map divides several areas with high Latino populations into separate districts, allegedly diluting the Latino vote. A community-drafted map that would have created two Latino-majority districts was rejected by supervisors, according to the lawsuit.

County officials insist the new maps were adopted in compliance with federal and state laws and say they include two districts that are “Latino opportunity-to-elect districts.”