School Board Lawsuit Could Upend Future Elections Statewide

A lawsuit was filed against the at-large system used to elect school board members to the East Ramapo school district. According to an article appearing in the New York Times by Jan Ransom, the current system, used throughout New York State, “violates the federal Voting Rights Act by denying “minority citizens an equal opportunity to have a voice in the future of their community’s public schools.”

Minority voters often are prevented from electing preferred candidates of choice when at-large voting permits a large voting bloc (here, white Hasidic voters whose children go to private schools) to predominate in elections. Single member or other alternate voting systems often permit minority groups to elect preferred candidates in districts. Several other Section 2 Voting Rights Act cases have succeeded in New York, including those in Port Chester and Hempstead.

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