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At-large is a designation for members of a governing body who are elected or appointed to represent the whole membership of the body (for example, a city, state or province, nation, club or association), rather than a subset of that membership. At-large voting is in contrast to voting by electoral districts.
If an at-large election is called to choose a single candidate, a single-winner voting system must necessarily be used. If a group of seats must be covered, many electoral systems can be possible, from proportional representation methods (such as PR-STV) to block voting.
- 1 Canada
- 2 Israel
- 3 Netherlands
- 4 Philippines
- 5 United States
- 6 See also
- 7 Further reading
- 8 External links
A number of municipalities in Canada elect part or all of their city councils at-large. Although this form of municipal election is most common in small towns due to the difficulty of dividing the municipality into wards, several larger cities use an at-large system as well:
- North Bay, Ontario (all councillors at-large)
- Portage la Prairie, Manitoba (all councillors at-large)
- St. Albert, Alberta (all councillors at-large)
- Thunder Bay, Ontario (seven councillors elected to wards, five councillors elected at-large)
- Timmins, Ontario (four rural wards with one councillor each, one urban ward with four at-large councillors)
- Vancouver, British Columbia (all councillors at-large).
- Most of British Columbia's major cities, including Victoria, Surrey and Richmond use this system (all councillors at-large).
At the federal level, Canada's three territories, Yukon, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories are each represented in the Parliament of Canada by one at-large Member of Parliament and one at-large Senator. However, all Canadian provinces, regardless of size, are divided into multiple electoral districts.
In Philippine politics, "at-large" usually refers to the manner of election of the Senate: the voters have twelve votes, with the country acting as one at-large "district", the twelve candidates with the most number of votes are elected (plurality-at-large voting).
Provinces that send only one representative to the House of Representatives are called "lone districts". All local legislatures elect member via at-large districts via plurality-at-large voting. Sangguniang Kabataan (Youth Council), Sangguniang Barangay (Barangay (village) Council), Sangguniang Bayan (Municipal Councils) and some Sangguniang Panlungsod (City Councils) all elect members with each local government unit acting as one at-large district. Some City Councils and all Sangguniang Panlalawigan (Provincial Board) members are elected with the city or province being split into as much as seven districts, then each district elects at least two members, at-large.
Article One of the United States Constitution provides for direct election of members of the House of Representatives, and 2 U.S.C. § 2c (passed in 1967) dictates that representatives must be elected from geographical districts, except when the state has a single representative, in which case one at-large representative is elected from the entire state.
States with at-large congressional districts
Former at-large congressional districts
Non-voting at-large congressional districts
Former non-voting at-large congressional districts
States with both at-large seats and geographically defined districts
This is a table of every instance of at-large representation in the United States Congress when the same state had geographically defined districts as well.
|Congress||State & Number of at-large seats|
|43rd||AL (2), AR (1), IN (2), LA (1), NY (1), PA (3), SC (1), TN (1), TX (2)|
|48th||AR (1), CA (2), GA (1), KS (4), NY (1), NC (1), PA (1), VA (1)|
|53rd||IL (2), KS (1), PA (2)|
|54th||KS (1), PA (2)|
|55th||KS (1), PA (2)|
|56th||KS (1), PA (2)|
|57th||KS (1), PA (2)|
|58th||CO (1), CT (1), KS (1)|
|59th||CO (1), CT (1), KS (1)|
|60th||CO (1), CT (1)|
|61st||CO (1), CT (1))|
|62nd||CO (1), CT (1)|
|63rd||AL (1), CO (2), FL (1), IL (2), MI (1), MN (1), OH (1), OK (3), PA (4), TX (2), WA (2), WV (1)|
|64th||AL (1), IL (2), PA (4), TX (2), WV (1)|
|65th||IL (2), PA (4), TX (2)|
|66th||IL (2), PA (4)|
|67th||IL (2), PA (4)|
|73rd||CT (1), FL (1), IL (2), NY (2), OH (2), OK (1), TX (3)|
|74th||CT (1), FL (1), IL (2), NY (2), OH (2), OK (1)|
|75th||CT (1), IL (2), NY (2), OH (2), OK (1)|
|76th||CT (1), IL (2), NY (2), OH (2), OK (1)|
|77th||CT (1), IL (2), NY (2), OH (2), OK (1)|
|78th||CT (1), FL (1), IL (1), NY (2), OH (1), PA (1)|
|79th||CT (1), IL (1), OH (1)|
|80th||CT (1), IL (1), OH (1)|
|81st||CT (1), OH (1)|
|82nd||CT (1), OH (1)|
|83rd||CT (1), TX (1), WA (1)|
|84th||CT (1), TX (1), WA (1)|
|85th||CT (1), TX (1), WA (1)|
|88th||CT (1), MD (1), MI (1), OH (1), TX (1)|
|89th||MD (1), OH (1), TX (1)|
- Martis, Kenneth C. (1982). The Historical Atlas of United States Congressional Districts. New York: Macmillan Publishing Company.