Future of Port Chester's election system in the hands of voters
The future of Port Chester's election system hangs in the balance as residents get set to vote on the matter next week.
Residents will vote Wednesday on whether to continue using a cumulative voting system in the village. The system allows voters to cast as many ballots as there are open seats on the village's board.
Mayor Richard Falanka says he's optimistic about the vote.
"It worked in 2010, 2013 and 2016," says Falanka. "So it did what it was suppose to do and got minorities elected to the board."
Back in 2009, a federal judge ruled that Port Chester's traditional at-large voting system, in which every voter received a single vote, violated the federal Voting Rights Act. The judge ruled the system had a history of discrimination against Hispanic voters, who make up a large portion of the Port Chester population.
Most residents News 12 spoke with say they will vote 'yes' to keep the system.
Village officials say if the referendum fails, they're not sure what they're going to do because reverting back to the old system means risking another lawsuit by the federal government.