Naperville Voter Education League
Educating residents about local government

Naperville Voter Education League

Districting

District Pros

  1. Citizens always know to whom on council they can turn to bring up a concern or issue.
  2. District Representation gives an equal voice to all areas of the city – Under a district system, your Councilmen lives, drives, walks, and shops in your neighborhood.
  3. Every area of the city deserves equal representation.
  4. The district system encourages Councilmen to become fully knowledgeable about the area they represent.
  5. Running in a district makes Councilmen more accountable to neighborhood voters – Your vote carries more weight in district elections.
  6. The district system prevents the possibility of having all Councilmen come from the same area of the city.
  7. Citizens who need help know exactly who to contact and can hold them directly accountable at election time.
  8. At- Large elections are cost prohibitive.
  9. Naperville is too large for Councilmen to have intimate knowledge of every neighborhood in the city.
  10. In a democracy, it is important to make informed decisions.  District elections facilitate face-to-face interaction between voters and candidates and help to inform voters.

District Cons

  1. Members represent the whole city, not just their own district
  2. Reduced divisiveness and factions
  3. Voters can choose from a broader base of candidates
  4. No battles over how to draw district lines
  5. At-large Councilmen are elected by a broad base of voters and are thus responsive to all constituents. Councilmen from districts may respond only to small groups of constituents who work hard to get them elected in the manner of ward politics.
  6. The at-large system gives an unfair advantage to wealthy candidates.
  7. District Representation may result in elected officials who are unwilling to deal with large, complex citywide issues.
  8. District representation leads to increased spending and pork.
  9. At-large members are more likely to represent the interests of the city as a whole. They are not likely to act in support of narrow, parochial interests that are desired by a small part of the city.
  10. District Representation may result in elected officials who are unwilling to deal with large, complex citywide issues.