“This Richmond’s mayoral elections are unconstitutional”

T. Scott Uzzle has written this oped,which begins: “Richmond’s elections for mayor are unlike any other municipal election in the country. Richmond employs a system known as “unit voting.” Rather than simply counting all the votes in a straightforward fashion, unit voting divides voters into sub-units and holds sub-elections for the same office. The candidate who wins the most sub-elections — although not necessarily the most votes — wins the election. For the mayor’s election, Richmond divides voters into nine geographic areas based on city council districts. The candidate who receives “the most votes in each of at least five of the nine City Council districts” is elected mayor. In other words, Richmond holds nine separate elections for mayor on Election Day; the candidate who wins five of those elections wins the mayor’s office. It is a complicated way to run an election, and Richmond is the only city in the country using a unit-voting system for one simple reason: Unit voting is unconstitutional.”

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