At-large is a description for members of a governing body who are
elect An election is a formal group decision-making process by which a population chooses an individual or multiple individuals to hold public office.
ed or appointed to represent a whole membership or population (notably a city, county, state, province, nation, club or association), rather than a subset. In multi-hierarchical bodies the term rarely extends to a tier beneath the highest division. A contrast is implied, with certain
electoral district An electoral district, also known as an election district, legislative district, voting district, constituency, riding, ward, division, (election) precinct, electoral area, circumscription, or electorate, is a subdivision of a larger state (a cou ...

electoral district
s or narrower divisions. It can be given to the associated territory, if any, to denote its undivided nature, in a specific context. Unambiguous synonymous are the prefixes of cross-, all- or whole-, such as cross-membership, or all-state. The term is used as a suffix referring to specific members (such as the U.S. congressional Representative/the Member/Rep. for Wyoming ''at large''). It figures as a generic prefix of its subject matter (such as Wyoming is an at-large U.S. congressional district, at present). It is commonly used when making or highlighting a direct contrast with subdivided equivalents that may be past or present, or seen in exotic comparators. If fairly applied it indicates that the described zone has no further
subset In mathematics, a set ''A'' is a subset of a set ''B'' if all elements of ''A'' are also elements of ''B''; ''B'' is then a superset of ''A''. It is possible for ''A'' and ''B'' to be equal; if they are unequal, then ''A'' is a proper subset of ...

subset
s used for the same representative purpose. A fair exception is a nil-exceptions arrangement of overlapping tiers (resembling or being district and regional representatives, one set of which is ''at large'') for return to the very same chamber, and consequent issue of multiple ballots for
plural votingPlural voting is the practice whereby one person might be able to vote multiple times in an election. It is not to be confused with a plurality voting system which does not necessarily involve plural voting. Weighted voting is a generalisation of plu ...

plural voting
to every voter. This avoids plural voting competing with single voting in the jurisdiction, an inherent different level of
democratic power
democratic power
. Examples of a democratic power disparity were found in a small number of states at certain U.S. Congresses, between 1853 and 1967, and in the old
lower house A lower house is one of two chambers of a bicameral legislature, the other chamber being the upper house. Despite its official position "below" the upper house, in many legislatures worldwide, the lower house has come to wield more power or otherwi ...

lower house
s of
United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain,Usage is mixed. The Guardian' and Telegraph' use Britain as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Some prefer to use Britain as shortha ...

United Kingdom
and
Ireland Ireland (; ga|Éire ; Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britain to its east by the North Channel, the Irish Sea, and St George's Channel. Ireland is the second-largest island of the British Isles, ...

Ireland
, whereby certain voters could vote for (and lobby) at-large (whole-state/County) and district(-based) representatives to them, giving zones of
plural votingPlural voting is the practice whereby one person might be able to vote multiple times in an election. It is not to be confused with a plurality voting system which does not necessarily involve plural voting. Weighted voting is a generalisation of plu ...

plural voting
and thus representation contrasting with zones, for the same national assembly, of single voting and representation. In 1964 the U.S. Supreme Court banned such plural voting for the US Congress (thus banning at-large, whole-state congressional districts which overlap state subdivision dongressional districts). Universal principles apply regardless whether election(s) are for an at-large member, or not. *a single seat/position/representative: entails a
single-winner voting system A single-member district is an electoral district represented by a single officeholder. It contrasts with a multi-member district, which is represented by multiple officeholders. Single-member districts are also sometimes called single-winner voti ...

single-winner voting system
; *a panel/slate/group of seats/positions/representatives: involves another system. It is usually
proportional representation Proportional representation (PR) characterizes electoral systems in which divisions in an electorate are reflected proportionately in the elected body. The concept applies mainly to geographical, and to ideological partitioning of the electorate. ...

proportional representation
(whether for regional additional
D'Hondt
D'Hondt
seats, or all the seats in its
party-list Poster for the European Parliament election 2004 in Italy, showing party lists Party-list proportional representation systems are a family of voting systems emphasizing proportional representation in elections in which multiple candidates are electe ...

party-list
form, or
STV
STV
leading forms) or
block (basic multi-choice, multi-member) voting
block (basic multi-choice, multi-member) voting
.


Canada

Some
municipalities A municipality is usually a single administrative division having corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national and regional laws to which it is subordinate. The term ''municipality'' may also mean the ...

municipalities
in
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering , making it the world's second-largest country by total ...

Canada
elect part or all of their
city council A city council, town council, town board, or board of aldermen is the legislative body that governs a city, town, municipality, or local government area. Australia Because of the differences in legislation between the states, the exact definition ...

city council
s at-large. The form of municipal election is widespread in small towns to avoid "
them and us
them and us
" cultural dissociation of dividing them into
wards
wards
. Notable larger instances are, from west to east: *The main cities of British Columbia:
Vancouver Vancouver ( ) is a major city in western Canada, located in the Lower Mainland region of British Columbia. As the most populous city in the province, the 2016 census recorded 631,486 people in the city, up from 603,502 in 2011. The Greater Vanc ...

Vancouver
,
Victoria
Victoria
,
Surrey Surrey () is a county in South East England which borders Kent to the east, East Sussex to the southeast, West Sussex to the south, Hampshire to the west, Berkshire to the northwest, and Greater London to the northeast. With about 1.2 milli ...

Surrey
and
Richmond Richmond may refer to: People * Richmond (surname) * Earl of Richmond * Duke of Richmond * Richmond C. Beatty (1905–1961), American academic, biographer and critic * Richmond Avenal, character in British sitcom The IT Crowd Places Australia * ...

Richmond
(all councillors, at-large. They adopt specialist spokesman, executive or committee roles). *
St. Albert
St. Albert
,
Alberta ("Strong and free") | image_map = Alberta in Canada 2.svg | Label_map = yes | coordinates = | official_lang = English | capital = Edmonton | largest_city = Calgary | l ...

Alberta
and almost all other municipalities in Alberta (excepting Wood Buffalo and Edmonton) (all councillors at-large) *
Portage la Prairie Portage la Prairie () is a small city in the Central Plains Region of Manitoba, Canada. As of 2016, the population was 13,304 and the land area of the city was . Portage la Prairie is approximately west of Winnipeg, along the Trans-Canada High ...

Portage la Prairie
,
Manitoba | image_map = Manitoba in Canada 2.svg | map_alt = Map showing Manitoba's location in the centre of Southern Canada | Label_map = yes | coordinates = | capital = Winnipeg | ...

Manitoba
(all councillors at-large) *
North Bay
North Bay
,
Ontario | Label_map = yes | image_map = Ontario in Canada 2.svg | map_alt = Map showing Ontario's location east/central of Canada. | coordinates = | capital = Toronto | largest_city ...

Ontario
(all councillors at-large) *
Thunder Bay Thunder Bay is a city in and the seat of Thunder Bay District, Ontario, Canada. It is the most populous municipality in Northwestern Ontario and the second most populous (after Greater Sudbury) municipality in Northern Ontario; its population is ...

Thunder Bay
,
Ontario | Label_map = yes | image_map = Ontario in Canada 2.svg | map_alt = Map showing Ontario's location east/central of Canada. | coordinates = | capital = Toronto | largest_city ...

Ontario
(seven councillors elected to wards, five councillors elected at-large) *
Timmins Timmins ( ) is a city in northeastern Ontario, Canada, located on the Mattagami River. The city is the fourth-largest city in the Northeastern Ontario region with a population of 41,788 (2016). The city's economy is based on natural resource extr ...

Timmins
,
Ontario | Label_map = yes | image_map = Ontario in Canada 2.svg | map_alt = Map showing Ontario's location east/central of Canada. | coordinates = | capital = Toronto | largest_city ...

Ontario
(four rural wards with one councillor each, one urban ward with four at-large councillors) The three territories:
Yukon Yukon (; ; also called Yukon Territory and referred to by some as the Yukon) is the smallest and westernmost of Canada's three territories. It also is the least populated province or territory in Canada, with a population of 35,874 people as of ...

Yukon
,
Nunavut Nunavut ( ) ( iu|ᓄᓇᕗᑦ) is the newest, largest, and northernmost territory of Canada. It was separated officially from the Northwest Territories on April 1, 1999, via the ''Nunavut Act'' and the ''Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act'', wh ...

Nunavut
and the
Northwest Territories The Northwest Territories (abbr. NT or NWT) is a federal territory of Canada. At a land area of approximately and a 2016 census population of 41,790, it is the second-largest and the most populous of the three territories in Northern Canada. I ...

Northwest Territories
are federally served in the
Parliament of Canada The Parliament of Canada (french: Parlement du Canada) is the federal legislature of Canada, seated at Parliament Hill in Ottawa, and is composed of three parts: the Monarch, the Senate, and the House of Commons. By constitutional convention, th ...

Parliament of Canada
by one at-large
Member of Parliament A member of parliament (MP) is the representative of the people who live in their constituency. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, this category includes specifically members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different ...

Member of Parliament
and
Senator The Curia Julia in the _each.__These_have__each.__These_have_[[malapportionment">high_apportionment
_but_are_ethnically_diverse_and_of_exceptional_size.__Provinces_are_divided_to_make_up_the_other_335_[[electoral_district_(Canada).html" "title="malapportionment.html" "title="Roman Forum ">Roman_Forum.html" style="text-decoration: none;"class="mw-redirect" title="Curia Julia in the [[Roman Forum">Curia Julia in the [[Roman Forum A senate is a [[deliberative assembly, often the [[upper hou ...

Senator
each. These have [[malapportionment">high apportionment
high apportionment
but are ethnically diverse and of exceptional size. Provinces are divided to make up the other 335 [[electoral district (Canada)">electoral districts (ridings or comtés)
electoral districts (ridings or comtés)
. The latter are combined into large regions to select the other 102 senators.


Israel

In [[Israel, elections for the [[Knesset (the national
parliament In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative body of government. Generally, a modern parliament has three functions: representing the electorate, making laws, and overseeing the government via hearings and inquiries. The ...

parliament
) are conducted on an at-large basis by
proportional representation Proportional representation (PR) characterizes electoral systems in which divisions in an electorate are reflected proportionately in the elected body. The concept applies mainly to geographical, and to ideological partitioning of the electorate. ...

proportional representation
from party lists. Election of municipal and town (but not regional) councils are on the same basis.


Netherlands

In the
Netherlands The Netherlands ( nl|Nederland ), informally referred to as Holland, is a country primarily located in Western Europe and partly in the Caribbean. It is the largest of four constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In Europe, the ...

Netherlands
, elections for the
House of Representatives House of Representatives is the name of legislative bodies in many countries and sub-national entitles. In many countries, the House of Representatives is the lower house of a bicameral legislature, with the corresponding upper house often calle ...

House of Representatives
(the lower house of the
States-General
States-General
, the national
parliament In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative body of government. Generally, a modern parliament has three functions: representing the electorate, making laws, and overseeing the government via hearings and inquiries. The ...

parliament
) are conducted on an at-large basis by
proportional representation Proportional representation (PR) characterizes electoral systems in which divisions in an electorate are reflected proportionately in the elected body. The concept applies mainly to geographical, and to ideological partitioning of the electorate. ...

proportional representation
from party lists.


Philippines

This
manner of election
manner of election
applies the
Senate The Curia Julia in the [[Roman Forum ">Roman_Forum.html" style="text-decoration: none;"class="mw-redirect" title="Curia Julia in the [[Roman Forum">Curia Julia in the [[Roman Forum A senate is a [[deliberative assembly, often the [[upper hou ...

Senate
. All voters can cast twelve votes to refresh half of the senate, namely twelve senators, from a longer list of candidates. The simple tally determines the winners ([[plurality-at-large voting). The legislatures of the [[Province of the Philippines|provinces elect one member to the [[House of Representatives of the Philippines|House of Representatives resulting in their prestige of being those who represent "sole districts". Likewise, the
Sangguniang Kabataan Sangguniang Kabataan (abbreviated as SK; ) is a council meant to represent the youth in each barangay in the Philippines. It was put "on hold", but not quite abolished, prior to the 2013 barangay elections. In January 2016, the Sangguniang Kaba ...

Sangguniang Kabataan
(Youth Councils),
Sangguniang Barangay The Sangguniang Barangay, also known as the Barangay Council, and formerly as the Rural Council and then the Barrio Council, is the legislative body of a barangay, the lowest form of government in the Philippines. The term is coined from the Taga ...

Sangguniang Barangay
(Village Councils),
Sangguniang Bayan The Sangguniang Bayan (Municipalities_of_the_Philippines">municipal_governments_in_the_[[Philippines._It_is_responsible_for_passing_ordinances_and_resolutions_for_the_administration_of_a_municipality._Its_powers_are_defined_by_the_[[Local_Governmen ...

Sangguniang Bayan
(Municipal Councils) and some [[Sangguniang Panlungsod (City Councils) elect the other members. It follows each such true or quasi-[[Local government in the Philippines|local government unit does not in the purest sense elect members at-large when analysing their geography as each member co-exists with the others who have territorial overlap, as representing greater or lower-rank districts. The members are in law chosen by the public directly or indirectly. City Council-elected and [[Sangguniang Panlalawigan (Provincial Board)-elected members are elected such that the city or province may be split into as much as seven districts, then each elects at least two members.


United States

[[Article One of the United States Constitution|Article One of the [[United States Constitution provides for direct election of members of the [[United States House of Representatives|House of Representatives. A congressional act passed in 1967
2 U.S.C. § 2c
dictates that representatives must be elected from geographical districts and that these must be [[single-member districts. Indeed it confirms when the [[U.S. state|state has a single representative, that will be a representative at-large.


States as at-large congressional districts

* [[Alaska's at-large congressional district|Alaska * [[Delaware's at-large congressional district|Delaware * [[Montana's at-large congressional district|Montana * [[North Dakota's at-large congressional district|North Dakota * [[South Dakota's at-large congressional district|South Dakota * [[Vermont's at-large congressional district|Vermont * [[Wyoming's at-large congressional district|Wyoming


Former at-large congressional districts

* [[Alabama's at-large congressional district|Alabama * [[Arizona's at-large congressional district|Arizona * [[Arkansas's at-large congressional district|Arkansas * [[California's at-large congressional district|California * [[Colorado's at-large congressional district|Colorado * [[Connecticut's at-large congressional district|Connecticut * [[Florida's at-large congressional district|Florida * [[Georgia's at-large congressional district|Georgia * [[Hawaii's at-large congressional district|Hawaii * [[Idaho's at-large congressional district|Idaho * [[Illinois's at-large congressional district|Illinois * [[Indiana's at-large congressional district|Indiana * [[Iowa's at-large congressional district|Iowa * [[Kansas's at-large congressional district|Kansas * [[Kentucky's at-large congressional district|Kentucky * [[Louisiana's at-large congressional district|Louisiana * [[Maine's at-large congressional district|Maine * [[Maryland's at-large congressional seat|Maryland * [[Massachusetts's at-large congressional seat|Massachusetts * [[Michigan's at-large congressional district|Michigan * [[Minnesota's at-large congressional district|Minnesota * [[Mississippi's at-large congressional district|Mississippi * [[Missouri's at-large congressional district|Missouri * [[Nebraska's at-large congressional district|Nebraska * [[Nevada's at-large congressional district|Nevada * [[New Hampshire's at-large congressional district|New Hampshire * [[New Jersey's at-large congressional district|New Jersey * [[New Mexico's at-large congressional district|New Mexico * [[New York's at-large congressional seat|New York * [[North Carolina's at-large congressional seat|North Carolina * [[Ohio's at-large congressional district|Ohio * [[Oklahoma's at-large congressional seat|Oklahoma * [[Oregon's at-large congressional district|Oregon * [[Pennsylvania's at-large congressional district|Pennsylvania * [[Rhode Island's at-large congressional district|Rhode Island * [[South Carolina's at-large congressional seat|South Carolina * [[Tennessee's at-large congressional district|Tennessee * [[Texas's at-large congressional seat|Texas * [[Utah's at-large congressional district|Utah * [[Virginia's at-large congressional seat|Virginia * [[Washington's at-large congressional district|Washington * [[West Virginia's at-large congressional seat|West Virginia


Non-voting at-large congressional districts

* [[American Samoa's at-large congressional district|American Samoa * [[United States Virgin Islands's at-large congressional district|American Virgin Islands * [[District of Columbia's at-large congressional district|District of Columbia * [[Guam's at-large congressional district|Guam * [[Puerto Rico's at-large congressional district|Puerto Rico * [[Northern Mariana Islands' at-large congressional district|Northern Mariana Islands


Former non-voting at-large congressional districts

* [[Alabama Territory's at-large congressional district|Alabama Territory * [[Alaska Territory's at-large congressional district|Alaska Territory * [[Arizona Territory's at-large congressional district|Arizona Territory * [[Colorado Territory's at-large congressional district|Colorado Territory * [[Dakota Territory's at-large congressional district|Dakota Territory * [[Florida Territory's at-large congressional district|Florida Territory * [[Hawaii Territory's at-large congressional district|Hawaii Territory * [[Idaho Territory's at-large congressional district|Idaho Territory * [[Illinois Territory's at-large congressional district|Illinois Territory * [[Indiana Territory's at-large congressional district|Indiana Territory * [[Iowa Territory's at-large congressional district|Iowa Territory * [[Kansas Territory's at-large congressional district|Kansas Territory * [[Mississippi Territory's at-large congressional district|Mississippi Territory * [[Missouri Territory's at-large congressional district|Missouri Territory * [[Montana Territory's at-large congressional district|Montana Territory * [[Nevada Territory's at-large congressional district|Nevada Territory * [[New Mexico Territory's at-large congressional district|New Mexico Territory * [[Northwest Territory's at-large congressional district|Northwest Territory * [[Oklahoma Territory's at-large congressional district|Oklahoma Territory * [[Oregon Territory's at-large congressional district|Oregon Territory * [[Orleans Territory's at-large congressional district|Orleans Territory * [[Philippines at-large congressional district|Philippines * [[Southwest Territory's at-large congressional district|Southwest Territory * [[Utah Territory's at-large congressional district|Utah Territory * [[Washington Territory's at-large congressional district|Washington Territory * [[Wisconsin Territory's at-large congressional district|Wisconsin Territory * [[Wyoming Territory's at-large congressional district|Wyoming Territory


Simultaneous at-large and sub-state-size congressional districts

This is a table of every such instance. It shows the situation applied to a small, varying group of states in three periods. The 33rd Congress began in 1853; it ended two years later. The 38th began in 1863; the 50th ended in 1889. The 53rd began in 1893; the 89th ended in January, 1967, the final such period. This was due to the 1964 case of ''[[Reynolds v. Sims'': the [[United States Supreme Court determined that the general basis of apportionment must be "[[one person, one vote."


Local elections

Since passage of the [[Voting Rights Act of 1965 and lessening of some historic barriers to voter registration and voting, legal challenges have been made based on at-large election schemes at the county or city level, including in school board elections, in numerous jurisdictions where minorities had been effectively excluded from representation on local councils or boards. An example is [[Charleston County, South Carolina, which was sued in 2001 and reached a settlement in 2004. Its county commission changed to nine members elected from single-member districts; in 2015 they included six white Republicans and three African-American Democrats, where the black minority makes up more than one-third of the population. In another instance, in 2013 [[Fayette County, Georgia, which had an estimated 70% white majority and 20% black minority, was ordered by a federal district court to develop [[single-member districts for election of members to its county council and its school board. Due to at-large voting, African Americans had been unable to elect any candidate of their choice to either of these boards for decades.ABS Staff, "Fayette County at-large election process violates the Voting Rights Act"
''Atlanta Black Star,'' 22 May 2013, accessed 11 April 2015
Such local election systems have become subject to litigation, since enabling more representative elections can create entry points for minorities and women into the political system, as well as providing more representative government. In the late 1980s, several major cities in Tennessee reached settlement in court cases to adopt [[single-member districts in order to enable minorities to elect candidates of their choice to city councils; they had previously been excluded by at-large voting favoring the majority population.''BUCHANAN v. CITY OF JACKSON,'' 683 F. Supp. 1515 (W.D. Tenn. 1988)
Case Text website
By 2015, voters in two of these cities had elected women mayors who had gotten their start in being elected to the city council from single-member districts. The town of [[Islip, New York was sued by four residents in 2018 for violating the Voting Rights Act by maintaining a discriminatory at-large council system. One-third of Islip's population is Hispanic, but only one person of color has ever been elected to a town seat. As part of the settlement reached in 2020, the at-large system will be abolished and replaced by four council districts by 2023. Some states have laws which further discourage the use of at-large districts. For example, the [[California Voting Rights Act removes one of the criteria required for a successful federal Voting Rights Act challenge, thus resulting in hundreds of cities, school districts, and special districts to move to single member area-based elections. Some jurisdictions have kept at-large city councils and boards. The solution adopted by [[Cambridge, Massachusetts is to elect council officials via
proportional representation Proportional representation (PR) characterizes electoral systems in which divisions in an electorate are reflected proportionately in the elected body. The concept applies mainly to geographical, and to ideological partitioning of the electorate. ...

proportional representation
for all seats.


See also

*[[General ticket *[[Plural district *''[[United States Statutes at Large''


References


Further reading

*


External links


U.S. House of Representatives: House History
* {{DEFAULTSORT:At-Large [[Category:United States congressional districts [[Category:Constituencies [[Category:Elections