A federal judge has signed off on new voting districts worked out by Supervisors and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

The boundaries were redrawn after MALDEF, who claimed the old lines disenfranchised Latinos, sued and won under the Voting Rights Act. District 4 in west Kern County is now the second majority-Latino district with the addition of Arvin, Lamont, Shafter and Delano.

There are other differences: District 1 now stretches from the northeast part of the county and picks up Oildale and northwest Bakersfield. District 2 in the south goes from end to end and adds Taft and southwest Bakersfield, while the eastside of Bakersfield moves from District 3 to 5.

The elections for Districts 2, 3, and 4 have also been moved to November.

The county will also have to pay MALDEF $3 Million in legal fees, as well as $2 Million to their own lawyers, to settle the case.

Kelli Pierce