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Visit for Information on Election Changes

Post Date:02/27/2020

The way that Palm Desert elects its City Council is changing.

The City wants all residents to understand the changes and ensure their continued participation in the democratic processes that have built Palm Desert into the beautiful and successful community it is today.

The changes, which go into effect this November, are the result of a legal settlement related to the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA).  The settlement helps the City avoid a costly legal battle and allows the City to propose a unique solution to embrace the CVRA’s goals while retaining a model that emphasizes cohesion and unity within our community.

The settlement proposes a new downtown district with roughly 20% of the City’s population and represented by one elected City Council member, as well as a larger surrounding district containing about 80% of the population from which four Council members will be elected at large.

The new downtown district, which will be focused on the Civic Center area and surrounding neighborhoods, helps fulfill longtime Palm Desert goals identified in the City’s strategic and general plans and will result in a more fully defined downtown. The downtown district also aligns Palm Desert’s electoral process with the CVRA ensuring that the voices and votes of all Palm Desert residents are heard and translate to meaningful representation.

The settlement also calls for the implementation of ranked choice voting in both districts. Ranked choice voting, used by multiple government agencies in California and elsewhere, gives voters the power to rank their candidates in order of preference and has been recognized as a voting method that can help ensure that the candidate preferences of all voters are better reflected in election outcomes.

For more information about ranked choice voting, the proposed districts, a timeline, and more, please visit

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