Content Authored by Super Districts

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  • No More Gerrymanders: Transforming Maine into One At-Large Super District

    Lawmakers in Maine are fiercely debating how to redraw the boundaries of the state's two U.S. congressional districts in the wake of the 2010 Census. Both political parties seek new maps favorable to their candidates, a process that could affect not only the current 2-0 Democratic U.S. House majority, but possibly also an Electoral College vote at the presidential level. FairVote has produced an alternative "super district" map designed for election with a proportional voting system. Our plan upholds U.S. Supreme Court rulings on apportionment while guaranteeing competitive voter choice and fairer representation.

  • No More Gerrymanders: Transforming Connecticut into One At-Large Super District

    Lawmakers in Connecticut are debating how to redraw the boundaries of the state's five U.S. congressional districts in the wake of the 2010 Census. Fully in control of the state legislature, the Democratic Party is expected to push through a new map that protects its incumbents. Such controversies are products of our winner-take-all elections, in which 50.01% of voters can elect 100% of representation. Winner-take-all rules marginalize like-minded voters of a political minority no matter their relative numerical strength, thereby depressing turnout and providing inadequate representation. As part of an ongoing project, FairVote has produced a "super district" map designed for Connecticut elections with a proportional voting system. Our proportional plan upholds U.S. Supreme Court rulings on apportionment while guaranteeing fairer representation.

  • Mitigating the Pernicious Effects of Gerrymandering in North Carolina: The Super-District Alternative

    North Carolina lawmakers have approved one of the nation’s most extreme partisan gerrymanders this year. Four of the state’s seven Democratic incumbents are clearly targeted for defeat. The new map reduces the number of the state’s 13 congressional districts carried by Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential race from eight to only three, with the remaining 10 district all ones where John McCain won at least 55% of the vote. But FairVote's proportional voting plan in super districts would create a level playing field for people of all parties and races.

  • South Carolina: The Super District Alternative

    Redistricting ensures that political district lines reflect population changes in the U.S. Census every ten years so that each district has the same number of voters per seat in a district.  South Carolina is in the midst of redistricting and, as with most states, it’s become complicated and increasingly controversial and partisan. As explained in our recent post on Michigan, FairVote proposes an alternative to the winner-take-all system that has plagued the redistricting process, and opened it up to gerrymandering, partisan bickering, and opportunism.

  • California: A Simulated Attempt at Super-Districts

    Michael S. Latner and Kyle Roach from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo have written a thoughtful article on adopting proportional representation in California, based on a simulation-type analysis.
    Their simulation deals with use of a proportional voting system to elect California’s 80 seat Assembly , echoing many of the points we have been making in our series of analyses of the value of the potential use of proportional voting in congressional elections in states such as Michigan and Louisiana.

  • Gerrymandering in Michigan and the Super District Remedy

    Controversies over redistricting in Michigan provide the latest evidence of the failure of winner-take-all, single member district rules. Winner-take-all elections inevitably represent many voters poorly and tempt partisans to gerrymander outcomes. The 1967 law mandating that states use them should be repealed so that states like Michigan can explore “super district” form of proportional voting to increase voter choice and fair outcomes.

    FairVote's example of how super districts would work in Michigan show that every district easily can be made to be competitive and guarantee fair representation.

  • Iowa's Laudable Redistricting Process - and the Super District Alternative

    Iowa quite justifiably has earned much praise for its redistricting process, a largely independent one driven by criteria that doesn’t include protection of incumbents or partisan gain. Nevertheless, a review of its elections and this year’s debate about redistricting still highlight the value of forms of proportional voting in a “super district” that puts voters in control of their representation rather than those drawing winner-take-all election lines, however independently those lines may be drawn.

  • Louisiana Redistricting: A Better Method

    Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal is about to sign legislation establishing a redistricting plan that distorts partisan representation, breaks up natural communities, underrepresents racial minorities and creates largely noncompetitive races. Super districts with  two three-member districts and a non-winner-take-all voting systemn would dramatically boost fair representation and give all voters competitive choice.