The Voting Rights Act is an improvement over the current system, but its emphasis on single member districts creates another problem which can be solved using Proportional Representation election methods. When we trade at-large voting in one large district for multiple smaller single-member districts, the voter must live in a district where his/her view is in the majority in order to receive representation. This means that voters must self segregate in order to receive representation. Do we really want to encourage segregation this way? I hope not! With this scenario new minority viewpoints will form in every smaller district — again with no representation.
Let’s look at Proportional Representation election systems such as multi-member districts using “Choice Voting”. It is possible to use the existing larger district mentioned above, but elect all of the candidates with choice voting instead of by position. The result is that nobody has to move in order to have fair representation. Sixty percent of like minded voters will receive sixty percent of the seats, thirty percent of like minded voters will receive thirty percent of the seats, and ten percent of the like minded voters will receive ten percent of the seats. In other words, the legislative body will be a mirror image of the total population. Majorities will be maintained, but not over represented as in the current system. Minorities will be represented according to their percentage of the voters instead of receiving no representation as in the current system.
Please take a look at the FairVote website for an explanation at:
Especially helpful are the demonstrations of how Proportional Representation works using multi-member districts and Choice Voting.