Texas has had a strong connection with fair representation voting since the early 1990s. From 1991 to 1995, more than 50 jurisdictions adopted fair representation voting methods, largely as the result of Voting Rights Act lawsuits. As Governor of Texas in 1995, George W. Bush signed legislation enabling local school districts to use cumulative and limited voting to elect their school boards. Fair representation voting methods have since been used to great effect across the state.
In 2000, Amarillo Independent School District in Amarillo, Texas, which is home to more than 190,000 people, adopted cumulative voting for its school board. Despite minorities comprising over 20 percent of the population, Amarillo ISD had never elected a non-white school board member. Consequently, the School District became the subject of a Voting Rights Act lawsuit initially asking for election from districts with one majority-minority district. After adopting cumulative voting, however, Amarillo ISD elected both African American and Latina candidates to its school board, far exceeding the expected outcome of the lawsuit. In subsequent elections, minority candidates continued to succeed. Currently, almost fifty jurisdictions continue to use cumulative and limited voting to elect their school boards and city councils. To learn more about fair representation voting methods and how they work, go to our proportional representation page.