Court: School District Violates Voting Rights Act

IRVING (CBSDFW.COM/AP) — A federal court has determined that the Irving Independent School District denies Hispanic residents an equal opportunity to vote and elect candidates of their choice.

The ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Sidney Fitzwater in Dallas found that the current election process used by the Irving ISD violates the federal Voting Rights Act.

Friday’s ruling found in favor of plaintiffs that include Manuel Benavidez, a former Irving school board candidate.

The order means Irving must alter for the second time the way it elects board members. The ruling found as unfair the current system in which there are five single-member districts and two members elected to at-large positions.

The city had previously changed its election system because of prior legal challenges.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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