In 2016, the voters of East Baton Rouge Parish cast a majority of their votes for Democrats to be on the Metro Council.

Had the 10 contested seats been elected proportional to the votes cast, the Metro Council would have 6 Democrats and 6 Republicans.

The Metro Council is actually controlled by Republicans 7 to 5.

These three facts are only true because in 2011 the Metro Council enacted maps for their own elections that were designed to protect the incumbents. Because of those maps, not once has the incumbent party lost at an election. This is Gerrymandering, plain and simple.

Luckily for Baton Rouge, we can end the practice of Gerrymandering in the Metro Council. Baton Rouge and East Baton Rouge Parish are organized by a Home Rule Charter called the Plan of Government. This charter can be amended by the people if we collect enough signatures on a petition to put the amendment on the ballot and pass that amendment at a referendum.

The amendment we propose would change the system of electing the Metro Council from 12 single-winner districts to 3 5-winner districts using a proportional election system called Single-Transferable Vote. With this system it is impossible for the Metro Council to Gerrymander their districts because any partisan advantage gained in one district would be offset in another district.

Single-Transferable Vote is very simple for voters; simply rank your choices from 1 to up to 5. The counting gets pretty complicated, but basically votes are counted by everyone’s first choices, then as candidates are elected and eliminated votes are reallocated according to voters lower preferences until all 5 candidates are elected. For a detailed explanation see this helpful video.