Interesting Voting Rights Act decision in Ohio

from Ballot Access News
Federal Court in Ohio Approves Limited Voting for Euclid School Board Elections

July 15th, 2009

On July 13, U.S. District Court Judge Kathleen O’Malley ruled that the city of Euclid, Ohio, should use Limited Voting in its school board elections. The decision, USA v Euclid City School Board, is here.

Euclid has a 5-member School Board, and the city has long used at-large elections for the School Board. Voters elect 3 members in years after presidential elections, and 2 members in years before presidential elections. Euclid’s population is 44.6% African-American, yet no African-American has ever been elected to the School Board. The U.S. Department of Justice had sued Euclid under Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act and had asked the judge to order single-member districts. The city argued for either Limited Voting or Cumulative Voting. The judge ruled in favor of Limited Voting.

Limited voting means that each voter can only vote for one candidate, even though either two or three candidates are being elected.

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