PORT CHESTER, NY ALLOWS VOTERS SIX VOTES EACH

Port Chester is a town of about 30,000 people, nearly half of which are Hispanic. Six trustees oversee management of the town. No Latino has ever been elected to a position on that board despite the numbers they constitute of the population. It begs the question, why? The answer is, very few of them vote. That begs another question, why not? For that, no answer is given; it’s left for you to surmise.

One person one vote is the essence of Democracy. It is the law of the land, except in Port Chester, NY., where everyone now gets six votes. The first “sixer” election was held on June 15, 2010 and resulted in placing one Hispanic on the board of six trustees. We don’t have a breakdown of the numbers for this race, but a basic understanding of mathematics reveals it is possible for one candidate to receive more votes than there are voters living in the town.

We are not sure of the intricacies of this weird system called cumulative voting, but we know the objective. It is to enable a candidate to gain public office who would otherwise be unlikely to do so. Port Chester was the first municipality to test this voting method. Others will surely follow.

Bob B

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