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Election 2010: First latino elected to village Board of Trustees in Port Chester

August 10, 2010

An unusual voting system  called cumulative voting used in the village of Port Chester, N.Y to elect  the first Latino for one of  the six at-large village Board of Trustees  that white candidates  always held though Latinos made up more than half of the 30,000 residents in this NYC suburb until a federal judge ruled the elections violated the Voting rights Act.

That is how Luis Marino, a school district, worker got to be one of the village Board of Trustees.  Voters in this election “get multiple votes to apportion as they wish among the candidates.”  And, ” the system allows a political minority to gain representation if it organizes and focuses its voting strength on specific candidates.” Cumulative voting has been used around the country to vote for school board , county commission and city council and viewed as a remedy for discrimination. The court-ordered election mandated an educational program where 12 forums  were used to educate the community about how cumulative voting works.

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