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tompaine.com | What Baker-Carter Got Right

Posted on October 28, 2005

Last week's release of the report of the election reform commission headed by Jimmy Carter and James Baker has drawn fierce fire from civil rights and electoral reform organizations for recommending that voters be required to present photo identification at the polls.

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Race in Cambridge's 2001 City Council Elections

Posted on December 16, 2002

Slate Analysis

In Cambridge, voters tend to follow along lines of voting for the progressive Cambridge Civic Association (CCA) slate endorsements or else voting along independent lines. The official CCA candidates in 2001 were Davis, Murphy, Pitkin, Simmons, King, and Pitkin. Decker was not a CCA candidate, but her voters were for the most part. The independent candidates were Galluccio, Maher, Reeves, Sullivan, and Toomey. Note that Reeves is generally seen as a liberal, though he no longer has the endorsement of the CCA.

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Amicus Brief: City of Chicago Heights

Posted on January 01, 1999

In 1992, citizens of the City of Chicago Heights filed suit against the city for violating Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. The plaintiffs claimed that the city's at-largewinner-take-all system of elections illegally diluted minority voting power. The trial court found that the elections system was illegal, and allowed the city to adopt a new election plan by referendum. The plaintiffs appealed this decision to the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, who held that the city's plan did not remedy the Section 2 violation.

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Choice Voting vs. Traditional Winner-Take-All

Posted on January 16, 1996

Choice Voting has clearly provided African-Americans with electoral opportunities unavailable under a winner-take-all system. Cambridge voters, to a large degree, engage in racially cohesive voting. While the introduction of coalition-building in Cambridge has eased the election of African-Americans and women, Choice Voting was instrumental in allowing these opportunities to form. There have been five referenda (in 1952, 1953, 1957, 1961, and 1965) on whether to repeal or retain the Choice Voting system. Each time the vote was to retain it. Choice Voting has also withstood legal challenges, as recently as 1996.

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Computerizing a Cambridge Tradition: Testing Preference Voting on a Computer Program

Posted on June 01, 1994

For over fifty years, the City of Cambridge has counted ballots in its municipal elections by hand. The preference voting form of proportional representation system used for city council and school board elections requires counting and transferring voters' ballots in a manner for which there was no known machine technology count when the system was adopted in Cambridge in 1941.

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