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Vote more than once in an election!

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Mike

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The Chilton County Experience

Minority voters have elected candidates of choice using cumulative voting on a number of occasions. The November 1992 election for the seven seats on the Chilton County Commission in Alabama provides one example. Chilton County adopted cumulative voting in 1988 as part of the settlement of a vote dilution lawsuit brought against its previous election system. According to the 1990 Census, African Americans constitute 9.9 percent of the county’s voting age population. No African American had been elected to the county commission in the 20th century until the first cumulative voting election, held in 1988. That commissioner, Bobby Agee, was reelected in the second cumulative voting election in 1992. Agee finished second among the fourteen candidates in the actual vote, with 9.69 percent of the votes cast. An exit poll taken during the November 1992 general election in Chilton County reveals that Agee’s reelection was a function of African-American voters taking advantage of their option to cumulate votes for African-American candidates.

The Chilton County experience with cumulative voting is not unique. African-American voters in other settings have also been able to elect candidates of their choice through this system, as have Latino and Native American voters. As these experiences demonstrate, the repre­sentation of politically cohesive minority groups does not have to be dependent on where the group’s voters happen to live. A new shape threshold for election districts, if that is what Shaw requires, should not be allowed to become a convenient excuse for systematically diluting the votes of minority voters. If majority-minority districts that are sufficiently attractive to the courts cannot be created, then other types of democratic election systems that do not have dilutive consequences, like cumulative voting, should be adopted.
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I forgot to add. Blacks get seven votes each!
 

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