Election monitors are watching today’s vote in Pasadena

PASADENA, Texas -- Federal election monitors from the Department of Justice were on hand Saturday to oversee local elections in Pasadena following a court decision earlier this year.

In January, a Federal judge ruled that the city intentionally tried to limit Latino voting power by changing the rules for electing city council members. In 2014 the city switched from a system that elected 8 city council members from 8 different districts to one that elected 6 from districts and 2 from a city-wide vote.

Now, the districts are back to the way they once were, which could mean big things for the makeup of the City Council. "This election is critical because there has been a history of disenfranchisement in the city of Pasadena," said Diana Alexander. "The community at large, even people in Houston and the nation are watching to see what's happening here in Pasadena."

The Latino population in Pasadena has grown by nearly 12 percent over the last 16 years. With a level playing field this time around, the city could see a majority Latino-elected City Council for the first time in its history.