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Port Chester Cumulative Voting Seems More Useful to Minor Parties and Independents than to Hispanics

From Ballot Access News:

On June 15, Port Chester, New York, held a partisan election to elect six village trustees. The winners include the only Conservative Party nominee (he was not the nominee of any other party), and one of the two independent candidates. Only two Hispanics were on the ballot. The one who was a Democratic Party nominee was elected; the one who was a Republican Party nominee was not elected.

The Republican Party ran a full slate of six candidates, and got a second line on the ballot for each of them, under the slogan “Citizens for Tax Relief.” Two of the Republicans were elected.

Democrats ran only four candidates, and two of them were elected. Here are the vote totals from the Village’s web page. However, that web page does not show the party affiliations of each candidate. The winning independent candidate, whose ballot label was “Taxpayers Relief Movement”, is Bart Didden, and he came in first. The only Conservative Party nominee was John Branca, and he came in third. The independent who did not win is Gene Ceccarelli, whose ballot slogan was “Pride in Port Chester.” The four Democrats were Daniel Brakewood, Luis Marino (both of whom won), Gregory Adams, and Anthony Saline. John Palma was a write-in candidate. The six Republicans were Joseph Kenner, Saverio Terenzi (both of whom won), Richard Cuddy, Fabiola Montaya, Philip Semprevivo, and Michael Scarola.

This AP story has a small picture of the ballot, but even with the magnifying device, the ballot is too small to read well. Each candidate’s name was printed on the ballot six times, in a vertical column. The parties are arranged in order, from left to right: Democratic, Republican, Conservative, Citizens for Tax Relief, Pride in Port Chester, and Taxpayers Relief Movement. The single candidate of the Taxpayers Relief Movement placed first.


  1. Katie Katie October 6, 2010

    @Pete, what your saying is that minorities should be able to vote based on the color of the candidates skin and not on they’re ability to do the job? ignorance

  2. wolfefan wolfefan June 21, 2010

    In this particular election, Didden probably had some advantages that other third-party candidates will not. He was one of the parties in an eminent domain case that went to the US Supreme Court, and as such is probably a) well-known in Port Chester and b) a symbol/standard bearer for people who would like to see reform of eminent domain laws.

  3. Melty Melty June 21, 2010

    That’s right, Ross, but it’s no accident that many proponents mention IRV and proportional representation in the same breathe. At first FairVote was mainly for proportional representation methods, but then they decided to push IRV. Many proponents see it as a stepping stone. I just wonder why they don’t ditch IRV (especially now that folks’re getting wise to its pitfalls) and push Cumulative Voting. It’s better than IRV(as are about all voting methods) and Cumulative may well be a stepping stone towards proportional representation.

  4. pete healey pete healey June 21, 2010

    Yeah, we have a call for a constitutional convention in New York because of the pitiful way our state legislature is operating, and one of the most prominent proponents is calling for delegates to be elected by cumulative voting. The convention statute calls for three delegates to be elected from each of the Senate’s 62 districts, so it’s a natural for cumulative voting. A determined minority can always focus its efforts. On IRV, this argument is playing itself out in Britain, where a referendum is in the offing and the debate is whether it will be for IRV (which they call ‘AV’ for Alternative Vote) or another method which provides for proportionality nationwide.

  5. Ross Levin Ross Levin June 20, 2010

    Melty, IRV isn’t a method of proportional representation, nor is it marketed as such.

  6. Melty Melty June 20, 2010

    Cumulative voting’s not bad. Those who seek the “proportional representation” ideal would do well to propound cumulative voting, instead of the woefully problematic elimination/reallocation method that goes by the name of “instant runoff” and other misleading names.

  7. Ross Ross June 20, 2010

    Good luck spreading proportional representation further in New York, Pete. Send any news to – we’ll be sure to post it.

  8. pete healey pete healey June 20, 2010

    Minor Parties having an advantage in an election in New York State? Really?!?! That seems to me a good thing. This board now has a Latino Democrat (a first), a Black Republican (another first), an independent conservative (another first), and a Conservative Party member who ran independently of the Republicans (not a first but unusual in itself). This is a village that has been dominated by Republicans for decades, and there are only two of them on this 7-member board (which includes the Democrat Mayor). Congrats to the Mayor who insisted and persisted in implementing this experiment. So far it looks like a great success at electing a representative government!

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