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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Kenneth W. Sumsion, Chair email@example.com
Rep. Roger E. Barrus firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Melvin R. Brown email@example.com
Sen. Gene Davis firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Gage Froerer email@example.com
Rep. Francis D. Gibson firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Don L. Ipson email@example.com
Rep. Brian S. King firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Todd E. Kiser email@example.com
Rep. Rebecca D. Lockhart firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Benjamin M. McAdams email@example.com
Rep. Merlynn T. Newbold firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Stuart C. Reid email@example.com
Sen. Kevin T. Van Tassell firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Michael G. Waddoups email@example.com
Rep. Christine F. Watkins firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. R. Curt Webb email@example.com
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.
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.
And see the “Voter Turnout” chart (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.