Prof. Steven Mulroy recently saw his scholarly research in action with a courtroom victory. For the past two years, Prof. Mulroy has served as a consulting attorney for the Village of Port Chester, New York in a Voting Rights Act case. Faced with a finding that its “at-large” election system diluted minority voting strength, the Village wished to use an alternative to single-member districts. The Village contacted Prof. Mulroy because of his legal scholarship in this area advocating non-district systems in such situations. In a pathbreaking decision this November, a federal district court in New York ordered a “cumulative voting” election system to replace Port Chester’s system. This marks the first time a federal court has ordered such an “alternative” system into effect as a Voting Rights Act remedy. In cumulative voting, used widely in corporate board elections and in dozens of local jurisdictions around the country, a voter can cast multiple votes, not just one. The voter can cast all votes for one strongly preferred candidate, or split votes among two or more candidates, however he likes.
Read the VRACase here.