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Cumulative Voting has Major Impact in Amarillo

May 2000

Cumulative voting was used to elect Amarillo's school board for the first time on May 6, 2000. Four seats were elected by cumulative voting, and for the first time ever, a black candidate (James Allen) won and for the first time since the 1970s, a Latino candidate (Rita Sandoval) won both with strong support in their communities. The black share of the adult population is below 10% and the Latino share is below 20%.

At the same time, voter turnout more than tripled from the last election (in part due to a ballot measure), and all sides in the voting rights case that led to the adoption of cumulative voting last year expressed satisfaction with how the system worked. 

"I feel very strongly that cumulative voting gave an opportunity for minorities to participate and feel that they can be an integral part of the political system. Previously, whether real or perceived, African Americans and minorities in general felt out of the process because people tend to vote in blocs. Now with the cumulative voting system, it dilutes the bloc process." 
- Alphonso Vaughn, president of Amarillo's NAACP chapter

"We were hoping one of the minority candidates would be elected. The fact that we got two minorities on the board is awesome. History was made in Amarillo." 
- Nancy Bosquez, a justice of the peace and a local leader of the League of United Latin American Citizens

For local coverage, see:

"Cumulative voting system impacts minority precincts"
Amarillo Globe News, May 7, 2000

"Voting system lauded: minority candidates win AISD precincts " Amarillo Globe News, May 8, 2000

Editorial: "New voting system debuts" 
Amarillo Globe News, May 9, 2000 

Editorial: "It's so far, so good for cumulative voting"
Amarillo Globe News, May 11, 2000

Articles can also be found at


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Copyright 2001 The Center for Voting and Democracy
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