District Election Process

District Election Process

After undertaking a yearlong public process to evaluate moving from an at-large election process to division-based elections, the Irvine Ranch Water District Board of Directors voted on May 13, 2019, to transition the election of the IRWD Board of Directors to division-based elections.

The November 2020 election will be the first election in which the IRWD Board of Directors will be elected through division-based elections.

Current Elections Process

IRWD currently uses an at-large method to elect the members of its Board of Directors. The at-large method allows voters from the entire service area to elect each of the five members of the Board of Directors. A by-division method divides a service area into separate divisions and allows the voters in each division to elect a member of the Board of Directors. Since the enactment of the California Voting Rights Act in 2001, many local governments have gone through a similar public process to evaluate moving to division-based elections.

IRWD Division Map

On May 13, 2019, the IRWD Board of Directors adopted the following division boundaries. The Board Members from Divisions 1 and 4 will be elected in 2020 and the Board Members from Divisions 2, 3 and 5 will be elected in 2022.

To help the community better understand the divisions and the division in which each village is located, a reference map that has an overlay of the villages located in each division is available below:

Public Evaluation Process

IRWD’s evaluation of a change in its election process began in April 2018 when the IRWD Board of Directors adopted a resolution of “Intent to Initiate the Process of Establishing Divisions and Elections by Divisions.” The adoption of that resolution began the District’s 12 month process of evaluating division-based election, accepting public input, and drawing and adopting division boundaries.

IRWD committed to undertaking a meaningful public process that allowed for full public participation, public input, and careful consideration of a transition to by-division elections. As part of the evaluation process, IRWD held two workshops, six public hearings and a multi-month public comment period to accept public comment on the possible move to division-based elections, proposed division boundaries and the sequence of elections.

At the end of this process, on April 8, 2019, the IRWD Board of Directors voted to hold a public hearing on May 13, 2019, to consider final action on a transition to division-based elections, and to consider adoption of a final map of division boundaries and a sequence of elections.

At its hearing on May 13, 2019, the Board of Directors took final action on a move to division-based elections, adopted a final division boundary map and set the sequence of elections.

Strong Record of Community Outreach

The IRWD Board of Directors has a strong record of maximizing participation in District affairs by all of our customers. From landscaping and water use efficiency classes to free in-home water-use audits, bilingual programs and websites, IRWD offers meaningful programs and services that provide value to all of our customers. IRWD's comprehensive customer service programs, in conjunction with water and sewer rates that are the lowest in the area, help all area residents, especially those of limited means. Our customers have responded by giving the District a customer satisfaction rating that is consistently over 95%.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an at-large method of election and how does it differ from a by-division method of election?
IRWD currently uses an at-large method to elect the members of its Board of Directors. In 2020, the method by which the IRWD Board of Directors is elected will change to a by-division method of election. The at-large method allows voters from the entire service area to elect each of the five members of the Board of Directors. A by-division method divides a service area into separate divisions and allows the voters in each division to elect a member of the Board of Directors. The elected member must reside in the division he or she represents.

How many division areas have been adopted?
The voters elect the five members of the IRWD Board of Directors and so five division areas were adopted. Each division represents approximately 20 percent of IRWD’s population. As required by law, population data from the 2010 census was the basis for determining the population of each proposed division.