Adopted in 2001, the California Voting Rights Act showcases how states can protect voting rights even when Congress may
weaken the federal Voting Rights Act. Among other provisions, the Act
allows plaintiffs to challenge winner-take-all, at-large election systems when racially polarized voting exists. The Lawyers Commitee for Civil Rights filed
such a challenge in Sanchez v. City of Modesto, but a judge struck down the Act.
FairVote and Common Cause argue that remedies like proportional voting systems can address the impact of winner-take-all, at-large voting methods. Beyond this case, FairVote urges other states to consider state Voting Rights Acts and, for those challenging winner-take-all at-large systems, to look to proportional systems as a sensible remedy.Amicus Brief Filed in Sanchez v. City of Modesto, March 2, 2006