Monday, December 7, 2015

Court to decide principle of one person, one vote

By Professor Jessica Levinson
This is an excerpt from an op-ed published in the Sacramento Bee

A priest, a rabbi and a minister walk into a bar. They each live in a different state Senate district with 100,000 people in each district. There are 80,000 voters in the priest’s district, 50,000 in the rabbi’s district and 20,000 in the minister’s district.

This is not the beginning of a joke, but rather the basis of one of the most important election law cases to hit the U.S. Supreme Court in years.

If two candidates run for state Senate in each district, the priest will have to convince 40,001 of his friends to vote for his preferred candidate. The rabbi, by contrast, will only have to sway 25,001 voters. And the minister has the easiest task; he must only persuade 10,001 voters in order for his preferred candidate to win the election. Put another way, in the priest’s district it takes many more voters to elect the candidate of his choice.

Read the full article here.

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