FairVote Files Two Amicus Briefs in Port Chester (NY) Voting Rights CaseThe Village of Port Chester, New York, has been found liable for a violation of Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. The village, which is approximately 46.2% Hispanic, currently uses a staggered at-large voting system, and has never elected a Hispanic person to one of its seven Board of Trustees seats. The Department of Justice alleged that the village's winner-take-all, at-large method of elections caused Hispanic vote dilution, and therefore violated Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. The Department of Justice proposed a single-member district plan that they believe would enable the Hispanic community in Port Chester to elect a representative to the Board.
At the liability stage of the litigation, FairVote filed an amicus brief, also known as a "friend of the court" brief, urging the parties and the court to consider implementing a modified at-large voting system such as cumulative or choice voting. These methods are often a better option for localities with diverse and dispersed populations, because they allow any politically cohesive group a chance to gain representation in government, regardless of where in the community that group lives. FairVote believes that the best outcome for this case would be a consent decree providing for a modified at-large system.
At the remedy stage of the litigation, FairVote filed a second amicus brief, this time detailing why choice voting in particular would be an appropriate remedy in this case, highlighting its history in New York.
FairVote Remedy - Amicus Brief filed in Village of Port Chester v. USA, February 8, 2008
FairVote Amicus Brief filed in Village of Port Chester v. USA, June 14, 2007
Village of Port Chester Remedy Brief
Intervenor Remedy Brief
DOJ Remedy Brief
Richard Engstrom Submitted Report
Steven Mulroy Submitted Article
Village of Port Chester Cumulative Voting Resolution