Kicked off at Port Chester Day on August 25th, 2018, the Alliance is engaged in a voter education and registration effort as part of our Port Chester Vote! campaign. Along with other civic organizations and concerned citizens, we aim to register Port Chester residents and get everyone out to vote for these very important upcoming elections:
October 10, 2018: Referendum on the new voting system in Port Chester (see below)
November 6, 2018: The “midterm” elections for local, state & federal offices (Note: deadline to register for this election is October 12th, 2018)
March 2019: Elections for Village Mayor and Board of Trustees
Vote Port Chester!
The Vote Port Chester! campaign seeks to empower Port Chester residents to ensure that our voices are heard in choosing our leaders. Since village government impacts everything from which pothole gets filled to the availability of affordable housing and good jobs, we must work together to lay the groundwork for electing a representative majority on the Board of Trustees that will work for ALL residents.
Port Chester Must Choose a New Voting System
For most of its history, Port Chester was governed by a Board of Trustees that was elected by an at-large voting system, meaning that all voters throughout the village could cast a vote for each Trustee position. The elections were staggered meaning that not all of the Trustees were elected at the same time.
A 2006 U.S. Dept. of Justice lawsuit found that the at-large, staggered voting system was a violation of US law under the Voting Rights Act and ordered it to be eliminated. The Court ruled that the system denied the Latino population equal opportunity to participate in the political process by watering-down Latino votes and involving racist calls for white voters to defeat the candidates backed by Latinos.
The Court and Port Chester agreed to implement a new voting system, a variation of the at-large system known as cumulative voting, for a ten-year period to fix this legal violation. The ten-year period for this agreement included three elections for the Board of Trustees and expired in 2016. The Village has to adopt a new voting system by 2019.
Resident Voting Advisory Committee
Last March, the Alliance was instrumental in convincing the Mayor and Board of Trustees to establish the Residents Voting Advisory Committee. A group of 32 resident-volunteers were tasked with the responsibility of deliberating on voting systems and making a recommendation to the Board of Trustees as to which system would be best. In April, the Committee recommended the adoption of a cumulative voting system over a district system. Port Chester residents must vote to approve the new system for it to go into effect in 2019.
Residents to Vote on October 10, 2018
On October 10th, Port Chester residents will have a chance to vote “Yes” or “No” on the new cumulative voting system. See details from the Village below and go to the Village website for more information:
“A Historic Vote for Port Chester Voters!”
Referendum Date: Wednesday, October 10, 2018
Polls open 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
To Determine the System of Electing Trustees for Future Village Elections
Village of Port Chester used the cumulative voting system to elect Village Trustees in 2010, 2013 and 2016.
Please vote in the same polling places as the last Village election.
Shall Local Law No. 8 of the Year 2018 be approved to amend the Charter of the Village of Port Chester, Title II, to provide for cumulative voting to elect trustees with all six trustee offices open for election at the same time in future village elections? [ ] Yes [ ] No
What is cumulative voting?
A voting method where:
- You vote to elect more than one trustee
- All trustee candidates run against one another
- You have as many votes as trustees being elected
- You can award your six votes in any combination you want. That means you can give more than one vote to a candidate
- The six candidates with the most votes will win