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Ferguson school district must change board election method

January 7, 2019

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Missouri school district that includes students from Ferguson must change its board member election method after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal.

The Supreme Court on Monday let stand a July ruling from the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The appeals panel sided with a federal judge who ordered the Ferguson-Florissant School District to adopt cumulative voting, saying the district’s at-large election method violated the federal Voting Rights Act.

A lawsuit alleged the at-large system, in which people vote only once for a candidate, was racially biased against black candidates.

Cumulative voting allows people to cast as many votes as there are candidates and to use all of their votes on one candidate if they choose.

The ACLU says the decision means voices of all residents will be heard. The district says it’s already working with the ACLU to implement new election procedures.

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