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PR Win in South Dakota

In an unprecedented decision, the US Court of Appeals upheld the district court’s remedial plan for cumulative voting in South Dakota. The case, Cottier v. City of Martin (SD), resulted in the requirement of implementing cumulative voting for electing city council members- the first ever judicial imposition of a proportional voting system. The lower court had found the City’s redistricting plan to dilute the Native American vote and therefore violated Section 2 of the federal Voting Rights Act. The initial suit was brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of two Native Americans against the City of Martin. According to the 2000 census, Native Americans were 44.7% of the total population constituting 36% of the voting age population. Since 1981, the city has elected only four Native Americans winning a total of seven city council elections of 80 elections for city council (8.75%). To read the Court of Appeal’s decision please visit: Cottier v. City of Martin

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