Cincinnati NAACP to kick off proportional representation drive

// Published July 3, 2008 in Business Courier of Cincinnati

The local chapter of the NAACP is beginning a petition drive to change Cincinnati City Council elections to a proportional representation system.

The organization, in a news release, said it hopes to collect 6,100 signatures within the next 30 days to place the issue on the ballot for the November election.

In proportional representation, voters rank all the candidates, with the first choice receiving more weight than the second, and so on. That would replace the traditional winner-take-all system, in which voters pick specific candidates for whom to vote.

Cincinnati was one of the system's pioneers when it introduced proportional representation in 1925 to get rid of the "Boss Cox" political machine. The system was rescinded in 1957, and several attempts to re-introduce it have failed over the years.