Municipal election systems are determined by the nature of the council members' constituency and by the presence or absence of party labels on the ballot. With regard to the latter feature, there are two types of ballots for city council members. In partisan elections, the party affiliation of the candidate is indicated on the ballot, whereas in nonpartisan elections it is not. According to a 2001 survey, 77 percent of the responding cities have nonpartisan elections, and 23 percent have partisan elections.
Proponents of nonpartisan ballots suggest that:
Proponents for partisan elections argue that:
Listed below is the form of government for the thirty most populous cities in the United States, based on the most current U.S. Census projections. The table uses updated information from the member database at the National League of Cities.
|Rank||City Name||State||Election Type|
MacManus, Susan A. and Charles S. Bullock, III. "The Form, Structure, and Composition of America's Municipalities in the New Millenium." In The Municipal Year Book 2003. Washington, DC: International City/County Management Association 2003.
Ross, Bernard and Myron A. Levine. Urban Politics: Power in Metropolitan American, 6th edition. Florence, KY: Wadsworth Publishing, 2000.
Svara, James H. Two Decades of Continuity and Change in American City Councils. Washington, D.C.: National League of Cities, September, 2003.