In response to the California Voting Rights Act of 2001 (Elections Code, §§ 14025 – 14032), many community college districts have converted from at-large trustee elections to by-trustee area elections. Prior to 2011 districts were required to seek voter approval for such an elections change, an expensive and time-consuming process. The Legislature has established a more streamlined process for changing elections systems that does not require voter approval, which requires a series of public meetings to ensure public input into the adoption of new elections maps (Elections Code, § 10010), and approval by the California Community Colleges Board of Governors (Ed. Code, § 72036).

To obtain the California Community Colleges Board of Governors’ approval of a local election change, the following documents and information must be submitted to the meeting at which Board of Governors’ approval will be sought:

  • A completed Request to Change Election System form (PDF).
  • A copy of the district board of trustees’ resolution approving the proposed elections change.
  • A set of all proposed maps that the local board of trustees considered.
  • Demographic information related to each proposed map.
  • The identity and contact information of the district official who will present the election change request to the Board of Governors and of any consultant the district official wishes to include in the presentation.

All documents must be clearly readable, of sufficient visual quality to allow reproduction, and compliant with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 standards for accessibility.

Note that conversion to a by-trustee-area election system requires a complex analysis of legal requirements and typically involves districts retaining legal counsel and a demographer. In addition to providing formal public notice, districts that change their elections systems engage in a variety of affirmative outreach activities to ensure public awareness and an opportunity for communities of interest and students to participate in district adoptions of a new electoral maps.  Such activities have included creating dedicated websites, providing interactive maps, and conducting social and other media outreach. 

Send completed Requests to Change Elections and supporting documentation to