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Building a New City Election System

Sunnyvale is exploring changes to its current at-large electoral system for City councilmembers.


Cities with at-large voting systems like Sunnyvale’s have been targets for litigation under the California Voting Rights Act (CVRA), which prohibits voting practices that dilute the votes of racial minorities (known as “racially polarized voting”).

By City Charter, Sunnyvale currently has at-large elections for seven numbered seats. You vote for all candidates running for a seat on the City Council, and the elected councilmembers represent the entire city versus a defined geographic district.

What to expect

Over the next several months, the City will be exploring changing to a district-based electoral system for selecting City councilmembers. The City will focus on educating the community on issues related to the CVRA and gather public input on potential remedies and the preferred timeline for a ballot measure.

In early February, the City held two open houses about the CVRA and how it impacts Sunnyvale. More outreach events will be coming up.

For more information

Learn about the CVRA and the City's outreach efforts, and sign up for updates:

Sunnyvale Elections

February 11, 2019