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32 Ill. L. Rev. 12 (1937-1938)
Cumulative Voting in Illinois

handle is hein.journals/illlr32 and id is 50 raw text is: CUMULATIVE VOTING IN ILLINOIS
By Charles S. Hyneman* and Julian D. Morganf

F THE history of the western world
has taught any lesson about politics,
it is that competent, courageous, in-
formed legislatures are absolutely es-
sential to any political regime that is
designed to be reasonably responsive to
the will of the governed. Experience
may have repudiated particular formu-
las for assuring the responsiveness of
legislative bodies, but it has not so
much as impeached the assertion in the
American Declaration of Independence
that the right of Representation in the
Legislature is a right inestimable
to the people and formidable to ty-
rants only. But the right of Repre-
sentation becomes more than a hollow
shell only if the electoral system pro-
duces legislators who are powerful in
their spokesmanship for the interests
of their constituents.
The writers have no disposition to
picture the Illinois legislature as a co-
terie of mighty Galahads defending a
virgin mid-west democracy from the
assaults of lecherous tyranny. It is
the thesis of this article that the Illi-
nois House of Representatives pos-
sesses at least one important attribute
which reflects favorably upon it when
compared with the legislative bodies of
many other states, and that this qual-
ity is in large part contributed by the
peculiar system of legislative selection
used only in this state. The capacity
of a legislature for adequate represen-
tation in policy-making is determined
in large part by the experience in the
legislative process which its members
* A.B. 1923, A.M. 1925, Indiana; Ph.D. 1929,
Illinois. Assistant Professor of Political Science,
University of Illinois.
tA.B. 1934, A.M. 1935, Illinois. Research As-

have accumulated. In the brevity of
legislative service lies one of the great
causes for the weaknesses of our legis-
lative bodies, writes Robert Luce, for
many years member of the Massachu-
setts General Court and of Congress,
and the most convincing American
writer on legislation.
They are so largely made up of inex-
perienced men that the wonder is their
work is no worse .... Repeatedly it has
been seen that when waves of popular
indignation or excitement have swept into
a Congress or Legislature a larger number
of new men than usual, there has been
a distinct drop in the quality of legislation.
The proposition ought to need no argu-
ment. It stands to reason that novices
cannot do such good work as experts.1
On this point of accumulated legis-
lative experience the Illinois House of
Representatives presents a much better
record than most of the lower legisla-
tive chambers of the American states.
In so far as this greater stability of
personnel is contributed by the cumu-
lative voting device, it stands as an
endorsement of that electoral proced-
ure and an argument for its continu-
ance. This article is an argument for
the retention of cumulative voting in
Illinois. It will attempt, first, to dis-
prove the validity of some of the ob-
jections which have been advanced
against the system of cumulative vot-
ing, and second, to advance the positive
contention that cumulative voting has
contributed to a much desired stability
in the personnel of the House of Repre-
sistant, Department of Political Science, Uni-
versity of Illinois.
I Luce, Legislative Assemblies (1924) 358, 359.

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