Media impact on the special election

A. Joseph Ross
Sun Jan 24 00:04:00 EST 2010

On 23 Jan 2010 at 13:31, Dan.Strassberg wrote:

> Are you sure??? I'm not on a position to declare that you are wrong
> but what you're saying makes little sense to me. I'd appreciate a
> reference. If you are correct, why aren't all representatives elected
> at-large instead of being voted on only in their "own" districts? I
> remember that, some years ago, a small state that had three
> representives (might have been Montana--but that's strictly a guess)
> had only two congressional districts. Each voter voted on the rep for
> his/her district AND the representative at-large, who represented the
> entire state. People used to half-jokingly refer to the at-large rep
> as the state's "third senator."
Representative districts probably go back to the first Congress, or 
shortly thereafter, but there is no provision for them in the 
Constitution.  According to Wikipedia, a federal law has required 
districts since 1967.  Before that, some states had "general ticket" 
representation, in which all representatives ran at-large.  This may 
be why, when a state legislature fails to draw new districts, a court 
will draw them.  Once upon a time, I remember it being said that if 
the legislature failed to draw new districts, all representatives 
would have to run at-large.

A. Joseph Ross, J.D.                           617.367.0468
 92 State Street, Suite 700                   Fax 617.507.7856
Boston, MA 02109-2004           

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