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Weightless Votes


Joseph Fishkin


University of Texas School of Law

January 6, 2012

121 Yale Law Journal 1888 (2012)
U of Texas Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 209

Abstract:     
Does one-person-one-vote protect persons, or voters? The Court has never resolved this question. Current practice overwhelmingly favors equal representation for equal numbers of persons. Opponents charge, however, that this approach dilutes the “weight” of some individual voters’ votes. This Essay examines what that might mean, and concludes that there is no coherent individual interest in the “weight” of a vote. It argues that the one-person-one-vote doctrine is really about something else: protecting the political power of numerical groups. In light of this conclusion, the last section of this Essay explores whether the numerical groups this doctrine protects ought to include all persons living in a jurisdiction, or only the citizens of voting age.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 23

Keywords: election law, voting rights, vote dilution, one person one vote, reapportionment, redistricting, CVAP

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Date posted: January 7, 2012 ; Last revised: May 5, 2012

Suggested Citation

Fishkin, Joseph, Weightless Votes (January 6, 2012). 121 Yale Law Journal 1888 (2012); U of Texas Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 209. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1981002

Contact Information

Joseph Fishkin (Contact Author)
University of Texas School of Law ( email )
727 East Dean Keeton Street
Austin, TX 78705
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.utexas.edu/law/faculty/profile.php?id=jrf84

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