Frequently Asked Questions

On February 9, the City Council unanimously approved a districting map and election sequence that Shapes Anaheim’s Future. The Council adopted the Recommended Plan (Map 3). Election sequence for districts 1, 3, 4 & 5 was also approved for November 8, 2016 ballot. The remaining two districts (2 & 6) will hold elections in 2018. This concludes the districting process that included months of community meetings, public hearings and hundreds of hours committed by Anaheim residents. Thank you for your commitment, participation and interest in Anaheim’s future.  The FAQs have been updated accordingly.

For November 8, 2016 election-specific information visit www.anaheim.net/elections


What is changing?
For the first time in its 150-year history, Anaheim’s “At-Large” system for electing City Council Members will change to a “By-District” system. The number of council members will expand from five to seven (six Council Members and the Mayor). The Mayor will continue to be elected “At Large” from across the city, and may be able to live anywhere in the city. The six council members will be elected “By District” from each of the six districts, shall live within their district, and can only be elected by residents who reside in that district.

Why is this happening?

Anaheim voters approved the change during an election on November 4, 2014. Measure L was approved by 68.8% of the voters, resulting in six City Council voting districts. Measure M was approved by 54.2% of the voters, resulting in increasing the City Council membership from five to seven members.

When does the districting plan take effect?
During the November 8, 2016, general election, four of six City Council district seats will be up for election.

Are there changes to term limits?

No. The Mayor and Council Members will continue to be limited to serving two terms, no more than eight consecutive years.

How will the changes be implemented?
On November 8, 2016, four council members will be elected "By District." One of the four council members elected in November 2016 will be randomly selected to serve a shorter two-year term, following the administration of the Oath of Office; the remaining three members will serve four-year terms. In November 2018, three council member seats will be elected "By District." Only voters living in the respective district where a council member election is being held can vote for that council member seat. The election of the mayor will remain At-Large. No council members elected to an “At-Large” seat will have their term shortened or residency required prior to the November 2016 election.

Which Districts will elect a Council Member in 2016, and which in 2018?

Districts 1, 3, 4, and 5 of the Recommended Plan will be placed on the 2016 ballot.  Districts 2 and 6 will elect a council member in 2018.

Will Council terms remain the same?
Following the 2016 election, one of the council members elected in 2016 will be randomly picked to serve a two-year term. The member who picks the short 2-year term will be required to run for office in 2018, thereby placing three seats on the 2018 ballot. This is the only change. Except for this one-time adjustment in 2016, both council members and the mayor will continue to serve four-year terms. The terms will continue to be staggered. No one can serve more than eight consecutive years.

What is the purpose of the one, shorter term?
Anaheim staggers City Council elections to ensure continuity. A two-year term by one district member elected in 2016 will ensure that three council seats are up for election in 2018, and every two years thereafter.

What was the process led by the Advisory Committee for Electoral Districts?
At the City Council meeting on April 7, 2015, an Advisory Committee on Electoral Districts was established and members were selected by random draw from a panel of retired judges who served on the Orange County Superior Court. The five selected judges served as volunteers, and held 10 public meetings across Anaheim between May 12 to September 16, to gather public comment and review 39 draft maps. The Committee submitted the Final Report and Recommended Plan, Map 3 to the City Council on October 6, 2015. More background about the districting process can be found under the History tab on the main page of the Districting website: www.anaheim.net/districts.

When must the boundary map be filed with the County?
By July 6, 2016, per Election Code.

What is the legal criteria for a City Council voting district?

The City received consultation from a demographer, Justin Levitt, vice president of National Demographics Corp., Glendale, CA, as it did throughout the portion of this process led by the Advisory Committee on Electoral Districts. Submitted boundary map plans were evaluated according to federal and state law, judicial rulings and geographical and demographic considerations, including: 

• The U.S. Constitution
• The Voting Rights Act of 1965
• California Elections Code
• District population equality
• Topography and geography
• Cohesiveness, contiguity, integrity and compactness of territory
• Communities of interest
• Future population growth

What was the role of the demographer?
The demographer provided and maintained census and other relevant data, including analysis of the city’s population. During the Committee process, he provided tools for the public to create and comment on district maps and communities of interest, assisted the public in learning about the districting process, attended neighborhood community meetings, all Committee meetings and City Council meetings. At the final City Council public hearing stage, he provided technical, expert advice and will assist the City Clerk with the implementation of the final map to the Orange County Registrar of Voters.

Now that the districting process is complete, how will residents continue to stay involved and learn about what “districts” means to them?

The City Clerk's office will implement the new District Map through various forms of communication and Map placement at various city facilities, such as all city libraries. Community outreach will continue and as the November 8, 2016 election nears, the "Anaheim Votes" campaign will kick off.  The City Clerk's office will attend various city events and speak at neighborhood meetings; community members are encouraged to contact the City Clerk for additional information or to request a presentation at any group meeting.

Visit the city’s election webpage at www.anaheim.net/elections.  Between now and the November election, the City will continue to release election information in both English and Spanish; other languages upon request.  The election webpage can be translated into other languages (click on the “language link").