MACo: Courts, Not Legislature, Proper Venue to Address Grievances with Representative Structures

On February 14, 2023, MACo Legislative Director Kevin Kinnally testified before the House Ways and Means Committee in opposition to HB 0447 – Local Elections – County Commissioner – District Voting. This bill requires that the election of a county commissioner to represent a specific county commissioner district must be decided by a plurality of the votes cast within that district.

Counties are concerned this one-size-fits-all approach would infringe on local autonomy and flexibility in local governance.

In American jurisprudence, the proper venue to remedy any defect in district-drawing or representative structures is the courts, not a superior political body.

From the MACo Testimony:

MACo generally stands for the ability of county governments, guided by their locally elected officials, to serve and react to community needs. County governments – who meet regularly year round and are deeply immersed in the community – are in the best position to manage these local affairs. Local decision-makers are elected to serve public needs, and their actions are subject to broad citizen and stakeholder input, and they are directly accountable to voters. This law would diminish local accountability and local voter input.

More on MACo’s Advocacy:

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2023 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database

Learn more about MACo’s 2023 Legislative Initiatives

Read more General Assembly News on MACo’s Conduit Street blog