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Don't Rush Me

It's all the rage: cumalitive voting

Mayor Daley was ahead of the curve by 50 years!

August 11, 2010 - I didn't believe it when I watched a local FOX News video. It had to be a joke. And, I guess it still could be -- but the more I looked into it, the more information I found to back up that "one-man, one-vote" could be a thing of the past.

So the story went, this summer, in the little New York town of Port Chester, some voters were given the right to vote up to six times, while some in the same community were still burdened with the antiquated idea of "one man, one vote."

I did a little computer checking and found Port Chester's website and a message from the mayor, Dennis G. Pilla.

"We are now preparing for an historic trustee election to be held next June 15th. We will be the first municipality in New York to use cumulative voting to elect our six Trustee seats. Cumulative voting is an alternative at-large election system where all voters have the same number of votes, but gain the power to cast more than one vote for the same candidate . . . This proven method will allow any group of like-minded voters to rally behind their preferred candidates and give them a better chance to win."

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And, from the Associated Press (A.P.) I read:

Arthur Furano voted early - five days before Election Day. And he voted often, flipping the lever six times for his favorite candidate.

Furano cast multiple votes on the instructions of a federal judge and the U.S. Department of Justice as part of a new election system crafted to help boost Hispanic representation.

Voters in Port Chester, 25 miles northeast of New York City, are electing village trustees for the first time since the federal government alleged in 2006 that the existing election system was unfair. The election ends Tuesday and results are expected late Tuesday.

Although the village of about 30,000 residents is nearly half Hispanic, no Latino had ever been elected to any of the six trustee seats, which until now were chosen in a conventional at-large election. Most voters were white, and white candidates always won.

Federal Judge Stephen Robinson said that violated the Voting Rights Act, and he approved a remedy suggested by village officials: a system called cumulative voting, in which residents get six votes each to apportion as they wish among the candidates.

He rejected a government proposal to break the village into six districts, including one that took in heavily Hispanic areas . . .

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Holy Ghost of Mayor Daley . . . it's true!

Cumulative voting is also called "fair" voting . . well, I guess if we're gonna be a namby-pamby, cumulative voting country, we might as well be fair, too. I reckon my dad is rolling in his grave, cuz he was one of those cavemen that used to say, "The world isn't fair."

Now, only in America is life "fair." Hot damn!

So, if we are to be fair, shouldn't we be really fair? If it is good for local elections, it should also†be good for more-bigger elections (as a highly trained and paid member of the media elite, I get to use bad English -- kids don't do this at home unless you are a minority, then it is okay). Shouldn't we evoke the fairness clause into all our elections?

For example, I think because only two-to-six percent of the American population is redheaded, all redheads should be given the chance to vote six or seven times just to make it fair. Damn them blonds for having all the fun, now we have a way to get what we deserve!

Since a Caucasian candidate has a snowball's chance in Hades of ever winning another election in Detroit, shouldn't cumulative voting be instituted for the 12% of honkeys living there?

I think all pot smokers should be given the right to vote more times than beer drinkers, because I think beer drinkers -- a majority in any community -- have harshed the pot smoker's buzz for too many years. And, that ain't fair, dude.

I think all American Indians -- er, ah -- Native Americans should be given the chance to vote say, 10 times to every non-Native American-who-was-born-here's one vote.

I think smokers should be given the chance to vote five times to the nonsmokers one, because smokers are the minority and even though they pay more taxes than nonsmokers, have less representation (and that ain't fair).

I think hillbillies are getting are getting the short end of the stick, too. Let's get them some extra votes.

And, what about the KKK -- there ain't many of them dudes around any more, they need more votes, too.

Who is to say what group gets the extra rights, if we are not all equal? Who makes that call? Whomever is in power at the time? I think we are really heading fast into unchartered waters and the results will be frightening. I think in an effort to be fair for everybody, we will become unjust to all. We need to realize we cannot change the past. We are either all Americans or we aren't. And sometimes we vote for the best person, despite his or her race.

But, hey, that's just my opinion -- a minority, I know.

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Don't forget to check out Don't Rush Me, The Show. New episodes every Tuesday night on our family of 411.com sites (add Oxford, Clarkston, LakeOrion, Goodich or Ortonville in front of 411.com and go)!

Don is Assistant Publisher for Sherman Publications, Inc. He has worked for the company since 1985. He has won numerous awards for column, editorial and feature writing as well as for photography. He has two, sons Shamus and Sean and resides in the area. To read archived copies of his columns, click on his name, just under his picture up top . . . He can be e-mailed at: don@dontrushmedon.com
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