Multi-Member Districts by Voter Choice

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Brian Langstraat

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Mar 1, 2017, 7:30:39 PM3/1/17
to The Center for Election Science
Most of the Multi-Member Districts (MMD) that I have heard of have been designated using a top-to-bottom approach, but I am trying to devise a bottom-to-top approach.  MMD by Voter Choice seems like a possibility.

In pre-established districts, voters would be able to create, expand, and contract an MMD that they are included in using Ballot Measures.

A paired district example:
Each district in a state is paired off with an adjacent district (prioritized by compactness).
In a ballot measure, voters in both districts have the option of voting "Yes" or "No" on whether to be a single MMD for the purposes of voting for state representatives using a Proportional Representation (PR) voting system in the next election.
If both districts have a majority of "Yes" votes, then they will be considered a single MMD for the purposes of voting for state representatives using a Proportional Representation (PR) voting system in the next election.
Each district would continue to have ballot measures to expand the MMD with the added option of contracting the MMD to its previous condition.

Another method would have a each district do an Approval Vote for each adjacent district.  This would likely cause oddly shaped district chains.

Most majority party members in each district would vote "No", but most minority party members and independents would vote "Yes".  In most districts, there would be enough support for reasonable MMDs to be created.
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