Lowell agrees to change its election process after lawsuit

LOWELL, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts city has reached a settlement with residents challenging its election process in federal court.

Lowell has agreed to come up with a new way of electing City Council and School Committee members before the 2021 municipal elections.

The settlement announced Wednesday means the city will do away with the “at large” system it’s had in place since 1957, in which the highest voter getters citywide earn seats on the council and committee.

Latino and Asian-American residents argued in their lawsuit filed by Lawyers for Civil Rights that the current process puts minority candidates at a disadvantage compared to their white counterparts.

The City Council will take public comments about a replacement election process and place a non-binding question on the November ballot before reaching a decision in December.

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