Lawsuit alleges Lowell dilutes voting power of minorities

BOSTON (AP) – Minority residents of Lowell say in a federal lawsuit against the city that its election system dilutes their voting power.

The lawsuit filed Thursday by Asian-American and Hispanic/Latino residents alleges that the city’s use of at-large elections for the City Council and School Committee deprives minorities of an equal opportunity to elect candidates of their choice. It claims the system results in those boards having a makeup that is not representative of the city’s population.

The city of about 110,000 residents is located about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northwest of Boston.

The lawsuit says the city’s population is approximately 49 percent minority, but the City Council and School Committee are all white.

City attorney Christine O’Connor declined to comment immediately because she had not yet seen the lawsuit.

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