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Reforming Albany

Rob Richie // Published July 2, 2009 in New York Times

To the Editor:

Re “New York’s Defective Legislators” (editorial, July 2):

Your sensible reform suggestions would modernize New York state government, but it’s time to bring the state into the 21st century, not just the 20th.

The notion of winner-take-all, single-member legislative districts is based on a horse-and-buggy, geography-dominated concept of representation that simply no longer fits our country. Voters should have competitive choices and the power to change their representation no matter where they live. Enactment of every one of your reform proposals would still leave a majority of voters without this power.

What the times demand are proportional voting systems that make every vote count and allow shared representation in a given area. We have plenty of models to consider, including nearly every modern democracy in the world that has rejected our antiquated approach to representation.

Rob Richie
Executive Director, FairVote
Takoma Park, Md., July 2, 2009