Frequently-Asked Questions on District-Based Elections
1. Why is Alhambra adopting District-Based Elections?
At the November 3, 2020 Alhambra General Municipal Election, a majority of Alhambra voters approved a ballot measure, Measure V, which was an ordinance amending the City’s Charter to establish campaign finance rules for local elections and to establish By-District City Council elections.
2. What is the difference between At-Large and District-Based Elections?
At-Large elections mean that each registered voter in Alhambra can vote for candidates from all 5 Council districts. By-District elections mean that each registered voter in Alhambra can vote for candidates from their district only. For example, a registered voter living in Alhambra Council District 1, will vote for candidates from District 1 and not for candidates from Districts 2 or 5.
3. How are District Elections Designed To Benefit Voters?
By-District elections ensure future compliance with the California Voting Rights Act, encourage greater competition in City Council elections by lowering the cost of running campaigns, deemphasize fundraising and emphasize the quality of a candidate’s message, and encourage face-to-face interaction between candidates and constituents; they encourage more meaningful representation, and decrease the chances of vote dilution across City districts.
4. How were the maps created?
Every ten years Council districts must be redrawn so that each district is substantially equal in population. This process, called redistricting, is important in ensuring that each city councilmember represents about the same number of constituents. In the City of Alhambra, the City Council is responsible for drawing council districts. After the release of the 2020 U.S. Census data, the City of Alhambra hired a professional redistricting consultant/demographer to analyze the 2020 Census data for Alhambra and assist with the redrawing of our Council districts. The City held many public hearings and public input workshops to receive public input on where new Council district lines should be drawn. The result of this redistricting process was the new City Council Districts map which was approved by the City Council in March, 2022. The new City Council Districts Map can be found here: https://www.cityofalhambra.org/DocumentCenter/View/3219/2022-FINAL-MAP.
5. What changes will residents notice on their ballot for the upcoming November 2022 General Municipal Election?
Rather than voting for their choice of candidate for all 5 of the City Council Districts, registered voters in Alhambra will be voting for their choice of candidate from the District in which they reside.
6. How can residents vote in District-Based Elections?
All registered voters in Alhambra are able to vote in the upcoming election scheduled for November 8, 2022. However, what City Council district you live in will determine whether or not you see an Alhambra City Council race on your ballot. For example, for the upcoming election this November 2022, if you live in City Council District 1, 2 or 5, you will have City Council candidates to choose from on your ballot. However, if you are a registered voter, but live in City Council District 3 or 4, you will not see City Council candidates to choose from on your ballot as the election for those two offices will be at the next election in November, 2024. You may find more information on how to register to vote here: https://www.lavote.gov/home/voting-elections/voter-registration/register-to-vote/register.