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FairVote for years has documented the broken nature of the current Electoral College system, including presidential candidates in general elections focusing solely on a dwindling number of winner-take-all swing states and partisans bending electoral rules to try to win those states. Now it's getting worse, with Republican leaders newly in charge of Pennsylvania backing a plan that likely would give a majority of that state's 2012 electoral votes to a candidate who lost the state's popular vote -- just as North Carolina Democrats nearly did in 2001.
- Posted: August 8, 2011
- Categories: National Popular Vote, Fair Voting/Proportional Representation, Home
California Governor Jerry Brown today signed the National Popular Vote plan for president. Five years after FairVote joined with other reformers to launch the effort, it is halfway to enactment. It is law in states representing 49% of the electoral votes necessary to govern the next presidential election.
On July 13th, Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee signed H 6176 into law. Introduced on May 19th with the backing of FairVote Rhode Island, the bill passed the state Senate 35-2 and House 70-0. It establishes a voter choice study commission charged with studying ranked choice voting (RCV, or "instant runoff voting) and other options designed to increase voter participation and accountability, uphold majority rule and produce fiscal savings. The commission will issue a report by January 2012. A report by a similar commission in Colorado in 2007 led to a 2008 law allowing all localities to use RCV.
Rhode Island has a history of electing candidates with only plurality support, including the 2010 governor's race won with 36%. RCV would avoid "spoiler" dynamics in such election.
On July 14, the California State Senate voted 23-15 in favor of the National Popular Vote bill. Last month it passed the California State Assembly by 51-21 margin and now goes to Governor Jerry Brown for approval. With his signature, California will become the eighth state (joined by DC) to enact the National Popular Vote plan.
The process of redistricting is highly partisan and often comes at the expense of voters. FairVote has developed a number of new resources regarding redistricting, including:
- Glossary - An A to Z guide to terms and definitions
- Litigation - A summary of ongoing lawsuits to redistricting plans and procedures throughout the country
- Reform Legislation - A report on proposed laws in all fifty states to improve redistricting processes
- Resource List - A guide and review of the best redistricting resources from around the web
- News - A compilation of tweets to news stories and opinion by state
- Alternative Approaches - Drawings of proposed "super districts" for all states used for proportional voting systems
- Additional Links - FairVote also contributes to Endgerrymandering.com and tweets current redistricting news
- Posted: June 16, 2011
- Categories: Ranked Choice Voting
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which has a long history of using innovative voting methods to select the winners of its annual Academy Awards, recently announced some changes in the way nominations for the sought-after Best Picture award will be determined. The organization announced Tuesday that, beginning next year, a modified system similar to choice voting will be used to select Best Picture nominees.
California's tradition of pace-setting changes in the United States bodes well for reformers. Instant runoff voting (IRV, ranked choice voting) gained more validation in the Bay Area, with a definitive federal court ruling unanimously upholding its legality in San Francisco and a broadly supported "Champion of Democracy" event in in Oakland. The National Popular Vote plan for president earned an easy win in the Assembly and should reach Gov. Jerry Brown's desk this year. The legislature also advanced sensible changes to increase secure access to voting.
Vermont's governor Peter Shumlin on April 22 will sign the National Popular Vote plan (NPV) for president, making his state the 8th state (counting Washington, D.C.) to enter this interstate agreement designed to guarantee that the candidate who wins the most votes in all 50 states and DC will become president.
In all 50 states, elected officials at some level of government are feverishly engaged in the remarkable exercise of choosing their voters before their voters choose them. Nearly every U.S. House map and the great majority of state legislative maps will be redrawn by partisans, usually with the goal of protecting incumbents, helping friends and hurting political enemies.