The newly passed John R. Lewis New York Voting Rights Act seeks to ensure that any citizen who wants to vote in New York elections can do so. The law specifically targets “at-large” methods of election used the vast majority of local schools, towns, villages and other units of government.
Partner Darius Chafizadeh, managing partner of the Harris Beach White Plains office, spoke recently to Hudson Valley News 12 about a recent challenge filed under the Act against the Town of Mount Pleasant in Westchester County. Chafizadeh serves as Town Attorney for Mount Pleasant. It is the first such challenge filed under terms of the Act.
In response, Mount Pleasant has hired experts to review demographics and voting data to determine what, if any, actions need to be taken.
“It’s too early to make that determination of whether a ward system would need to be implemented. We have to look at the data and see where the voting trends are,” Darius told Channel 12.
Darius and Partner Jared Kasschau, co-leader of the Harris Beach Political Law team, recently issued a legal alert for New York Towns and Villages about the Voting Rights Act and the emerging case in Mount Pleasant.