One-Person, One-Vote Rule Law and Legal Definition

One person, one vote rule is a principle of constitutional law that the equal protection clause requires legislative voting districts to have about the same population. One Person, One Vote" is used as slogan in many parts of the world where campaigns have arisen for universal suffrage. It was used in this form in the U.S. Supreme Court case Reynolds v. Sims, 377 U.S. 533, issued in 1964 where the court ruled that districts for the United States House of Representatives and for the legislative districts of both houses of state legislatures had to contain roughly equal populations .

One person, one vote rule provides protection against more than one form of discrimination. In the cases in which the rule was first developed, district boundaries accorded significantly less weight to individual votes in the most populous districts. But it was also clear that those boundaries maximized the political strength of rural voters and diluted the political power of urban voters. The primary consequence of the rule has been its protection of the individual voter, but it has also provided one mechanism for identifying and curtailing discrimination against cognizable groups of voters.[ Karcher v. Daggett, 462 U.S. 725, 747 (U.S. 1983)]

One person, one vote rule provides protection against more than one form of discrimination. In the cases in which the rule was first developed, district boundaries accorded significantly less weight to individual votes in the most populous districts. But it was also clear that those boundaries maximized the political strength of rural voters and diluted the political power of urban voters. The primary consequence of the rule has been its protection of the individual voter, but it has also provided one mechanism for identifying and curtailing discrimination against cognizable groups of voters.[ Karcher v. Daggett, 462 U.S. 725, 747 (U.S. 1983)]