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SF Chronicle Investigates Mixed Record of California Voting Rights Act

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A recent San Francisco Chronicle investigation found the California Voting Rights Act has produced mixed results. (Juan Moyano via Getty Images)

In 2002, California became the first state to pass its own voting rights act with the aim of increasing minority representation at the local level. But as a recent San Francisco Chronicle investigation found, the California Voting Rights Act has produced mixed results— and the state does not track its outcomes. In some localities, the law has led to better community representation and more people of color sitting on city councils and school boards. But in others, it had no effect — and even caused more no-contest or canceled elections. And the financial penalties it allows for have hurt cash-strapped smaller municipalities — without necessarily changing the demographics of elected officials. We’ll talk about the three-part investigative series into how the California Voting Rights Act changed community elections and local governments — and its unintended effects.

Guests:

Jason Fagone, narrative writer, San Francisco Chronicle

Daniel Lempres, criminal justice reporter, San Francisco Chronicle

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