States have the authority to design their voting systems, so long as they do not violate the Constitutional Amendments or federal laws that prohibit them from discriminating against voters by gender or race. In a 1997 case the US Supreme Court decided that states could design rules that made it very difficult for any but the two major parties to compete. One of the very few times that the Supreme Court intervened to overturn a state law regarding the election process was in Gore v. Bush when it overturned a Florida Supreme Court decision that according to Florida law ballot counting in that contested Presidential election should continue.
Often states allow cities to develop their own rules regarding how local officials are elected.
In Amarillo, Texas, which is is 16 percent Latino and 6 percent black, a minority had not been elected to the school board since the 1970s.In 1998, several concerned Black and Latino citizens, together with the Amarillo chapter of the League of United Latin American Citizens (and later the local NAACP), sued the school board under the Voting Rights Act. … Read More