Volume 98, Number 6

December 2023

How the Courts Can Improve State and Local Elections with the Single Transferable Vote

Aidan F.T. Langston

Unlike in most other industrialized democracies, in the United States, most elections—at the federal, state, and local levels—are conducted using the plurality voting system, also known as first-past-the-post (FPTP) voting. As a number of scholars and advocates have argued, there is an alternative voting system, well suited to American democratic traditions, that would provide for proportional representation: the single transferable vote (STV). This Note focuses primarily on state and local elections, arguing that the courts should both endorse the use of STV in these elections as constitutional and adopt STV in state and local elections as a remedy for a variety of legal harms.