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US Court of Appeals Upholds Cumulative Voting Remedy in South Dakota

by Amy Ngai // Published December 19, 2008
The United States Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit upheld the district court's remedial plan in the case of Cottier v. City of Martin (SD) to implement culmulative voting for electing city council members. 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