16. Can the City delay creating district voting until the census and can that decision be negotiated? What would the cost be to delay? Has it been done in other jurisdictions? How would the Council delay the implementation of districts and any related cost? What is the optics of waiting until the 2020 census to create districts? What is the community opinion? And are there examples of other communities that have done similar?

The City’s outside counsel advises that the City has the option to delay implementing district-based elections until after the 2020 Census, and a number of jurisdictions took this approach preceding the last Census (in 2010).  However, litigation under the CVRA has become substantially more active since that time, and this approach  would not necessarily avoid litigation.  In the course of litigation, a judge might deem this to be a reasonable course of action for the City rather than having to redistrict for two successive elections.  There is case law under the federal Voting Rights Act recognizing that redrawing districts for two successive elections would be confusing and disruptive. Based upon an assessment of the risks, the City Council voted on January 16, 2018 to proceed with the transition to district elections for the next election in 2020.

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