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June 16, 2010

Yesterday's Radical Racial Proposal Is Today's Court-Imposed Solution

Clinton's pick for Attorney General Assistant AG for Civil Rights, Lani Guiner, was withdrawn in controversy after her odd views on voting were publicized: She favored an expressly race-oriented cumulative voting system in which, for example, all Representatives for a state would be voted on by everyone in the state, with people receiving multiple votes each, and permitted to cast multiple votes for the same candidate.

The purpose was to allow minorities to put all their votes on to one candidate and thus give him a strong chance of being elected.

The theory was also scoffed at as being contrary to the American system and expressly racially oriented by design. "Quota Queen," she was labeled.

Seems she was only ahead of the curve.

Arthur Furano voted early — five days before Election Day. And he voted often, flipping the lever six times for his favorite candidate. Furano cast multiple votes on the instructions of a federal judge and the U.S. Department of Justice as part of a new election system crafted to help boost Hispanic representation.

Voters in Port Chester, 25 miles northeast of New York City, are electing village trustees for the first time since the federal government alleged in 2006 that the existing election system was unfair. The election ends Tuesday and results are expected late Tuesday.

Although the village of about 30,000 residents is nearly half Hispanic, no Latino had ever been elected to any of the six trustee seats, which until now were chosen in a conventional at-large election. Most voters were white, and white candidates always won.

Federal Judge Stephen Robinson said that violated the Voting Rights Act, and he approved a remedy suggested by village officials: a system called cumulative voting, in which residents get six votes each to apportion as they wish among the candidates. He rejected a government proposal to break the village into six districts, including one that took in heavily Hispanic areas.

...

"That was very strange," Arthur Furano, 80, said after voting. "I'm not sure I liked it. All my life, I've heard, `one man, one vote.'"

It's the first time any municipality in New York has used cumulative voting, said Amy Ngai, a director at FairVote, a nonprofit election research and reform group that has been hired to consult. The system is used to elect the school board in Amarillo, Texas, the county commission in Chilton County, Ala., and the City Council in Peoria, Ill.


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