Eastpointe agrees to settle black voting rights case

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EASTPOINTE, Mich. - A suburban Detroit city council has approved a settlement in a federal lawsuit over the rights of black voters in which voters now will rank candidates on the ballot in order of their preference.

The city of Eastpointe says its City Council unanimously approved a consent decree Tuesday evening in which it will become the first Michigan city to implement so-called "ranked choice" voting with a goal on implementing it with this November's city election. It says the mayor will continue to be elected citywide, rather than by ranked choice.

The U.S. Justice Department sued Eastpointe in 2017 , saying it should elect council members by district rather than citywide. Blacks made up 30 percent of the population in the last census but only one council member is black.

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