Regarding your article “San Mateo Union High School District officials consider abandoning at-large system” in the Feb. 23 edition of the Daily Journal:
I find it frustrating that articles like this fail to even mention that proportional representation is an option. The supposed point of moving to districts is because in the at-large system, a 51% majority can elect all of the seats as a slate, running roughshod over the minority. Well, under a districted system, if the 51% majority is well-distributed, they can still win all of the seats. A system designed for proportionality will allow a candidate to win based on a geographic appeal — if you have very deep support from a historically unrepresented area, you can win based on that support. But you don't have to. You just need some coalition that provides a sufficient proportion of votes.
Proportional representation actually meets the goals of the California Voting Rights Act — the law in which the type of lawsuit driving this change for SMUHSD is based — better than districting. But the courts have already ruled districts to be a safe harbor, so that’s what everyone's doing. If they adopted PR, they might have to litigate the issue, and while it seems like they ought to win, nobody wants to take the risk. Voters deserve a system that actually treats all votes equally.