In 2006, the Department of Justice filed a complaint against the Village of Port Chester, alleging that its at-large elections were diluting the voting power of its Hispanic residents. Unlike many of the neighboring towns in the suburbs of New York City, the Village of Port Chester is majority-Hispanic. According to the 2010 census, almost 60 percent of Port Chester's residents identify as Hispanic or Latino while only 31 percent identify as white and only 7 percent as black. New York state, by contrast, is approximately 59 percent white, 18 percent Hispanic or Latino, and 16 percent black. Yet, as of 2006, Port Chester had never elected a Hispanic member to its governing body.
In response to the Department of Justice suit, Port Chester adopted a cumulative voting system in 2009. In doing so, Port Chester became the first New York community to use cumulative voting since the early 20th century. Shortly thereafter, in 2010, Port Chester elected its first-ever Hispanic member to its Board of Trustees. Today, the Board contains both Hispanic and black members. To learn more about fair representation voting methods and how they work, go to our proportional representation page.