A Vote Cast; A Vote Counted: Quantifying Voting Rights through Proportional Representation in Congressional Elections

Academic Article


  • The current winner-take-all or first-past-the-post system of voting promotes an inefficient market where votes are often wasted. In this system, representatives are selected from a single district in which the candidate with the plurality of votes gains victory. Candidates who appear non-generic can rarely, if ever, expect to receive the most votes in this system. This phenomenon is especially apparent when African-Americans and other minority groups seek elected office. In part because white voters constitute at least a plurality of voters in every state except Hawaii, minorities in the forty-nine other states have had historically little success in gaining election to the United States Senate. As a consequence, the only real opportunity for minorities to gain access to federal elected office remains limited to the United States House of Representatives.
  • Authors


    Publication Date

  • 2002
  • Keywords

  • African-Americans
  • choice voting
  • list system
  • minorities
  • proportional representation
  • senate
  • single transferable vote
  • voters
  • voting
  • Start Page

  • 191
  • End Page

  • 219
  • Volume

  • 12