The Way Out: Toward a Legal Standard for Imposing Alternative Electoral Systems as Voting Rights Remedies

49 Pages Posted: 10 Aug 2011  

Steven J. Mulroy

University of Memphis - Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law

Date Written: August 10, 2011

Abstract

The article discusses the use of “proportional”-type electoral systems, such as limited voting, cumulative voting, and preference (or choice) voting, as remedies for minority vote dilution under the Voting Rights Act. It argues that such systems are available as alternatives to the usual remedy of drawing single-member electoral districts with significant minority populations. Although applicable law requires that plaintiffs establish that a compact majority-minority district can be drawn to establish liability, the article suggests replacing that prong of the liability test with a showing that the minority group meets the “threshold of exclusion,” a well-established political science formula designed to test whether a cohesive political minority can elect a single candidate of choice under such an alternative electoral system.

Suggested Citation

Mulroy, Steven J., The Way Out: Toward a Legal Standard for Imposing Alternative Electoral Systems as Voting Rights Remedies (August 10, 2011). Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review (CR-CL), Vol. 33, No. 33, 1998; University of Memphis Legal Studies Research Paper No. 103. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1907880

Steven J. Mulroy (Contact Author)

University of Memphis - Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law ( email )

One North Front Street
Memphis, TN 38103-2189
United States

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