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Voting in New York City in the 1930s.

Back to the future: What New York’s democracy experiment of the 1930s says about today

Ochoa is communications director of More Equitable Democracy, which advocates for an array of democracy reforms. Cheung is the group's head.

In November, New York City voters overwhelmingly approved ranked-choice voting for future municipal elections. Advocates for electoral systems reform heralded the victory as a watershed moment in the modern pro-democracy movement. However, this interpretation misses a key point: This is actually the second time the Big Apple has turned to ranked-choice voting.

Looking back at the past can bring a new understanding for the future of RCV in NYC. How it gets implemented will be critical to understanding how this reform can truly lift up the voices of communities of color.

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