School Board Elections
On December 8, 2015, the Board of Trustees of the Fullerton School District
passed a Resolution No. 15/16-12
requesting that the County Committee on
School District Organization consider and approve establishing by-trustee areas
within the District. The Board of Trustees would be elected using a by-trustee
area election process commencing with the November 2016 election. As a result
of this Resolution and Orange County Committee’s approval, the District
changed the election from an at-large election to by-trustee election.
What is a By-Trustee Election?
Under a by-trustee area election system, a school district is divided into separate
trustee areas and one governing board member is elected by the registered
voters in that particular trustee area rather than the community-at-large.
What is an At-Large Trustee Election?
Previously, Fullerton School District used an at-large election method. With this
method voters of the entire jurisdiction elect the members to the Board of
Trustees. Fullerton School District has utilized an at-large election method until it
was changed to by-trustee on July 27, 2015 (Resolution No. 15/16-11)
Why did the District make the change?
The new election process was the result of a change in voting laws. California
Voting Rights Act (CVRA) was enacted to prevent the use of an at-large election
method where such method impairs the ability of minority voters to either elect a
candidate of their choosing or otherwise influence the outcome of elections.
On July 17, 2015, the election process was changed to be in compliance with the
CVRA which prohibits the use of at-large elections of governing board members
for a school district if it, "impairs the ability of a protected class to elect
candidates of its choice or its ability to influence the outcome of an election..."
(Elections Code § 14027, emphasis added.) Under the CVRA, the only election
system that provides an accepted “safe harbor” from a potential CVRA claim is a
“by-trustee area” election system.
Elected Board Members
The Fullerton School District had three board members (Beverly Berryman,
Janny Meyer and Chris Thompson) elected at-large prior to changing to by-
trustee election. Board action taken on December 8, 2015, resulted in two board
members (Hilda Sugarman and Jeanette Vasquez) being elected as by-trustee
In the election of November 2018, three board member seats will transition from
at-large to by-trustee area seats. Trustee seats from Trustee Areas 1, 3 and 4
will be open and board members will be elected through a by-trustee process. All
future elections will use a by-trustee election process.