Thursday, August 25, 2005

This article on a voting rights lawsuit in Kissimmi, FL, is the usual pattern. As usual hat tip Hasen. Kissimme is a suburb of Orlando and is the town closest to disneyworld, so I've been there. Currently the town has at large voting. The lawsuit seeks to compel a change to single-member districts. That is the wrong remedy, and would produce a bad result of first-past the post majoritarianism in each district. The proper remedy is at large voting with one voter-one vote. This is both a less drastic rememdy for the court to order, and a better result in terms of accomodating minority voting blocs. For example, in my town,
ther eis no one disrict which has a majority of hispanics, but hispanics are a large voting bloc currently unrepresented. There are 4 at large council members and the rest are by district. Each voter gets 4 at large votes. This should be reduced to one at large vote. That way, a hispanic bloc, if it focused on one candidate, would have a good shot at electing someone. In the current system, the four at large are either all GOP (usually) or as in the last cycle all Dem, with the Libertarians' 4% playing a decisive spoiler role. In a one-voter-one-vote system, the Libertarians could run one candidate and only need 21% to win a seat, a goal worth shooting for.
The current one-voter-four-votes method unreasonably restricts diversity and pluralism, as does first-past-the-post election by district.

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