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Federal Case Against Irving Enters 2nd Day

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By Bill Zeeble, KERA News

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kera/local-kera-821279.mp3

Dallas, TX – An expert witness in the federal trial against the city of Irving says there are several ways to draw voter districts that would put a Hispanic on the city council. Irving's being sued, accused of violating the voting rights act. No Hispanics have been elected to council even though they make up 40 percent of the population. KERA's Bill Zeeble has more

The federal case begins its 2nd day today with more testimony on behalf of plaintiff Manuel Benavides. He sued Irving seeking Hispanic representation on the council. All 8 council members and the mayor are white. They're elected from across the city, by all voters.

Benavides wants a single member district system, to improve the odds of a Latino council victory, which has never happened. The demographics expert said Irving's Hispanic population has continued to grow and there are enough legal voters to populate a majority Hispanic district.

The city isn't so sure, saying most Latinos are not legal citizens, and so cannot vote. Irving's lawyers challenged the expert witness, suggesting he was selective and self-serving with his statistics. The trial's expected to end Thursday, after Irving's lawyers present the city's defense.

Send E-mail to Bill Zeeble