District Elections

What do District Elections mean for Lake Forest?

Beginning with the November 2018 election, Lake Forest began electing members of the City Council from individual districts, instead of by citywide vote.

  • The City of Lake Forest changed the way City Council Members are elected and switched from an at-large election to a District-based election system.
  • In 2017, the City Council conducted public workshops, hearings and draft maps to create new geographic boundaries for the City’s five districts.
  • Voters in each district select one council representative who also lives in that district.
  • The Mayor will continue to be a rotating position, selected among five Council Members

View District Map boundaries (PDF)

How will by-district elections work?

Voters will only vote for the City Council position up for election in their specific district. In the November 2018 election, Districts 2, 3 and 4 began the transition to the new election system. Residents of these districts voted for one City Council member to serve a 4-year term. Districts 1 and 5 will complete the transition in the November 2020 election. At the end of their terms, a Council Members are eligible to run for re-election within the district in which they reside.

  • District 1: Transition in 2020
  • District 2: Transition in 2018
  • District 3: Transition in 2018
  • District 4: Transition in 2018
  • District 5: Transition in 2020

How do I find out what District I live in?

Residents can check the 2018 District Map online. If you do not have access to a computer, contact the City Clerk’s Office at 461-3420 or in person at Lake Forest City Hall, 100 Civic Center Drive, Lake Forest, CA 92630.

How do I find my polling location?

Orange County has transitioned from polling locations to Vote Centers.   Voters will now be able to vote at any of the designated centers in the County.   To find Vote Center locations click here.  

What’s the difference between by-district elections and previous City district elections?

Previously, council members had to live within the geographical boundaries of the City, and all registered voters in the City could vote for all eligible seats. As of 2018, voters in each district select one Council representative who must live in that district.

Why the change?

The California Voting Rights Act of 2001 (CVRA), prohibits the use of an at-large election in a political subdivision if it would impair the ability of a protected class, as defined, to elect candidates of its choice or otherwise influence the outcome of an election. The CVRA provides that a voter who is a member of a protected class may bring an action in superior court to enforce the provisions of the CVRA, and, if the voter prevails in the case, he or she may be awarded reasonable litigation costs and attorney’s fees. The CVRA requires a court to implement appropriate remedies, including the imposition of district-based elections, that are tailored to remedy a violation of the act.

Who created the district boundaries and how often can they be revised?

The City hired a Consultant, held a series of workshop and Public Hearings at which they received input from residents, and the City Council adopted the map (PDF). The law requires the boundaries to be reviewed every 10 years following receipt of the US Census data.