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90-second video illustrating the single transferable vote method used to populate multi-seat districts.

Fun concept video illustrating the single transferable vote method used to populate multi-seat districts. The last 30 seconds of the video summarizes some of the history of the BC-STV referendum.

Before their next meeting on Wednesday, May 4th, 2011, please and politely ask the Utah Redistricting Committee members listed below to amend the third redistricting principle from 2001 that reads “Districts will be single member districts” as follows: “Congressional districts will be single member districts. Non-congressional districts may be either single member or multi-seat districts.”

This change would allow committee members, other legislators, and members of the public the option of proposing multi-seat districts for the state house of representatives, state senate, and state school board.

Sen. Ralph Okerlund, Chair rokerlund@utahsenate.org
Rep. Kenneth W. Sumsion, Chair ksumsion@utah.gov
Rep. Roger E. Barrus rogerbarrus@utah.gov
Rep. Melvin R. Brown melbrown@utah.gov
Sen. Gene Davis gdavis@utahsenate.org
Rep. Gage Froerer froerer@utah.gov
Rep. Francis D. Gibson fgibson@utah.gov
Rep. Don L. Ipson dipson@utah.gov
Rep. Brian S. King briansking@utah.gov
Rep. Todd E. Kiser toddkiser@utah.gov
Rep. Rebecca D. Lockhart blockhart@utah.gov
Sen. Benjamin M. McAdams bmcadams@utahsenate.org
Rep. Merlynn T. Newbold merlynnnewbold@utah.gov
Sen. Stuart C. Reid screid@utahsenate.org
Sen. Kevin T. Van Tassell kvantassell@utahsenate.org
Sen. Michael G. Waddoups waddoups@utahsenate.org
Rep. Christine F. Watkins cwatkins@utah.gov
Rep. R. Curt Webb curtwebb@utah.gov

Source: http://le.utah.gov/ASP/Interim/Commit.asp?Year=2011&Com=SPERDT

Thank you!

Compare seats awarded versus votes received in contested Utah legislative elections — which currently use the first-past-the-post, single-member district method — over the past two decades. Is one party over-represented? Is one party under-represented? Decide for yourself.

2010HouseContestedFigure1

2010SenateContestedFigure2

Another way to measure how competitive an electoral system is to look at the percentage of contested races and voter turnout. Potential participants (both candidates and voters) who perceive an unfair contest are discouraged from participating. As a result, the number of both contested races and voters casting a ballot decline.

2010HousePieChartUncontested

And see the “Voter Turnout”┬áchart (PDF file) accompanying the article titled “Utah voter turnout: A state of apathy” in the October 23, 2010 edition of the Deseret News.

Using the single transferable vote method to populate multi-member districts is a competitive and representative way to create a closer fit between voter preferences and electoral outcomes.

At its next meeting, the Utah Redistricting Committee will debate the principles that will guide its process.

One principle from 2001 that will continue to frustrate fair elections in Utah if adopted by the committee is item 3: “Districts will be single member districts.”

Please let redistricting committee members know that you support gerrymander-proof, multi-member districts elected by single transferable vote for all non-congressional districts.

And please ask committee members to reject “single member districts” as a redistricting principle except in the case of congressional districts (which must be single member districts under federal statute), and allow committee members to propose the creation of multi-member districts elected by single transferable vote to populate the state school board, state house of representatives, and state senate.

Electing legislative bodies using multi-member districts and proportional representation is a constitutional, competitive, and representative solution.

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