Onslow County
Onslow County is covered by section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, meaning that any changes to election law require preclearance from the Department of Justice or the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia. 17.2 % of the county population is African American. However, there are no black county commissioners. County commission elections are held at large, with five commissioners being elected every four years. The school board is made up of seven members elected for four years at a time in staggered intervals. Its ethnic makeup is unclear. The school board is elected at large, and no mechanisms that could be said to promote minority representation are in place. Within Onslow, two cities, Jacksonville and Richlands, have sizeable African American populations. Jacksonville elects four of its city councilors in districts, including some majority-minority districts which work to ensure that African Americans can sit on the city council, and two at large. As a result, African Americans have good representation within the city. Richlands, a town where 25% of the population is African American, by contrast, elects representatives at large for two-year terms. As a result voters have very little real choice. In spite of this, though, minority representation has historically been quite good.  
Recent Articles
October 19th 2009
A better election system
Lowell Sun

Election expert Doug Amy explains how choice voting can "inject new blood" into the elections of Lowell (MA), and give voters a greater incentive to participate.

October 16th 2009
Haven't Detroit voters spoken enough?
Livingston Daily

In Detroit, there have been three mayors in the past two years and the current one has come under scrutiny. Perhaps a system like instant runoff voting will help bring political stability to motor city.

August 21st 2009
Black candidate for Euclid school board to test new voting system
Cleveland Plain Dealer

Limited voting, a form of proportional voting, will be used in Euclid (OH), in the hopes of allowing better representation of minorities.

July 2nd 2009
Reforming Albany
New York Times

FairVote's Rob Richie responds in a letter to the editor making the case for proportional voting systems to bring substantive reform to New York's legislature.