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Both sides dig in over Gainesville at-large voting
Mayor, council members resist calls to change citys form of representation
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The debate about whether to change Gainesville’s at-large voting system boiled over Thursday at a meeting of city officials, and the two sides of the dispute appear to be growing more entrenched, even while others call for additional dialogue on the issue. “Every time we bring this up, there is a group of people that feel slighted,” Councilman Sam Couvillon said. African-American and Latino political organizers, including local civil rights leaders and students from the University of North Georgia, have rallied in recent months calling for replacing the current system with a district voting process where only voters in a particular geographic area select a candidate from their ward to represent them.