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On July 6, 2004, then-Governor James E. McGreevey signed into law a measure intended to address one of New Jersey's most contentious and explosive issues, the property tax. The law called for the creation of the Property Tax Convention Task Force (the "Task Force") to develop recommendations concerning the design of a state constitutional convention for revamping the existing property tax system. In addition to analyzing the scope, operation, and timing of a property tax convention, one of the principal tasks of the Task Force was to determine the method for the election of delegates. The New Jersey Constitution is utterly silent on the question of how delegates to a state constitutional convention should be chosen. Consequently, the Task Force had broad discretion in framing its recommendations.

This Article grows out of a paper prepared for the Task Force in October 2004 on the question of delegate selection. Part II considers the limits and requirements placed on delegate selection by the United States Constitution and the Federal Voting Rights Act. Federal law protects both the right to vote and the equal representation of voters, and the vote dilution doctrine under the Voting Rights Act provides particular protection for the rights of minority voters. Beyond the question of what the law requires or forbids, there are considerable opportunities to broaden the representation of minorities, including political as well as racial minorities. Part III describes a number of alternative voting systems that are relatively uncommon, but not unknown, that can be used to make multi-member elected bodies more representative.


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