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Latinos Lose Bid to Redraw Ward Map in Aurora, Ill.

•  Recent Cases     updated  2008/07/28 08:56


Latino citizens in Aurora, Ill., are not entitled to have the city ward map redrawn to favor Latino candidates, the 7th Circuit ruled.

Judge Easterbrook upheld the district court's ruling that Latino voters are not deprived of proper voting representation. Two of the 12 city aldermen are Latino, and the city's population is 33 percent Latino. However, only 16 percent of citizens of voting age are Hispanic.

Sam Gonzalez, Maria Crosby, and Mariana Correia asked for the wards to be redrawn so three of them would have predominant Latino populations. Easterbrook ruled that is not the only way for Latino residents to gain representation.

"The (plaintiffs) ignore the fact that several wards contain enough Latino citizens to produce substantial influence," Easterbrook wrote.

The judge also ruled that redrawing the map to favor one ethnic group is not fair, "as surely as a map drawn to maximize the influence of those groups at the expense of Latinos.

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