(Yes, yes, I know that I still need to research the federal voting rights act and it’s impact on gerrymandering. Now I’ll also need to be aware of it’s impact on proportional representation systems.)
The act can cause local governments that use at-large methods of elections (as opposed to single-winner districts) and that have under-representation of minorities to have court enforced remedies imposed on them. The act implies that those remedies are typically the imposition of a single-winner districting solution.
The city of Modesto was sued in 2004 under this act and lost. They have a 25% Hispanic population but since 1911 one Hispanic city council-member has been elected for their at-large 5 member council. The city is counter suing and argues that the California Voting Rights Act violates the U.S. Constitution. It will be interesting to see how this develops.
The CA voting rights act seems to have a bias that at-large elections are the only source of distorted representation and that single winner districts is the preferred remedy. These assumptions should be questioned.