June 16, 2010

In NY Town, Vote Early and Vote Often (Legally)

Marc Comtois

Apparently, this is the new definition of "fair voting":

Voters in Port Chester, 25 miles northeast of New York City, are electing village trustees for the first time since the federal government alleged in 2006 that the existing election system was unfair. The election ends Tuesday and results are expected late Tuesday.

Although the village of about 30,000 residents is nearly half Hispanic, no Latino had ever been elected to any of the six trustee seats, which until now were chosen in a conventional at-large election. Most voters were white, and white candidates always won.

Federal Judge Stephen Robinson said that violated the Voting Rights Act, and he approved a remedy suggested by village officials: a system called cumulative voting, in which residents get six votes each to apportion as they wish among the candidates. He rejected a government proposal to break the village into six districts, including one that took in heavily Hispanic areas....

It's the first time any municipality in New York has used cumulative voting, said Amy Ngai, a director at FairVote, a nonprofit election research and reform group that has been hired to consult. The system is used to elect the school board in Amarillo, Texas, the county commission in Chilton County, Ala., and the City Council in Peoria, Ill.

The judge also ordered Port Chester to implement in-person early voting, allowing residents to show up on any of five days to cast ballots. That, too, is a first in New York, Ngai said.

I get that everyone gets 6 votes, be they white, black, brown or Martian, so it is "fair"...but if you can't understand the fundamental problem with this...

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There is no way this can be constitutional.

Posted by: Monique at June 16, 2010 4:07 PM

This measure sure isn't the answer to the problem. The answer is for Latinos to start registering to vote and showing up at the polls.
Now, I understand some people feel VERY threatened by the mere idea that Latinos are entitled to vote, even if those little pocket constitutions say so...

Posted by: rhody at June 17, 2010 11:42 AM
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