E-Newsletter December 15, 2005

Released December 15, 2005
FairVote December Newsletter

A Message from Hon. John B. Anderson

Dear Friend of Fair Elections,

I trust your year has been as good for you as 2005 has been for FairVote's efforts to promote reform — and that the coming year promises to bring as many exciting, positive developments as we expect here.

This month's newsletter provides details on our campaign to modernize American elections to achieve full participation, a range of meaningful choices and majority rule with fair representation for all. You'll read about our progress made in 2005 to achieve a constitutionally protected right to vote, direct presidential elections, instant runoff voting for executive offices and proportional voting for legislative offices — reforms that combine to provide an equally powerful and meaningful vote for all Americans.

Looking forward, I anticipate high-profile campaigns for instant runoff voting -- and just maybe a statewide adoption. I expect new strategies to reform the Electoral College will be front-page news. We will make the case for proportional voting in communities and on campuses and with legal arguments in cases like the Texas gerrymandering lawsuit to be heard before the Supreme Court. Our fine staff will again publish widely in major dailies and magazines. At least one major city or state should take action on our proposals to ensure all high school students register to vote before graduation.

But I want to convey a simple reality: our organization is the essential organization for achieving these urgently needed reforms and we depend on your support. The 2000 presidential elections exposed flaws in our voting to the world, but have not yet led to the fundamental reforms I believe the times demand. Together, let's make 2006 a record year for democratic reforms.

John Anderson's signature
John B. Anderson
Chairman of the FairVote Board
[Read the full letter]

Up Front...

2005 Review and 2006 Plans: Executive Director Rob Richie highlights FairVote's successes in 2005 and goals for 2006, ranging from ballot measures for instant runoff voting to future campaigns for proportional voting around the nation.

Research Highlights 2005 (Adobe .pdf 2.1 MB): From redistricting reform to filibusters, and television ad spending to superdistricts, 2005 witnessed a slew of new insightful reports from FairVote. Year after year, our research showcases both the problems with America's winner-take-all, plurality elections, but also the solutions provided by proportional voting, instant runoff voting, and a fully-protected right to vote.

Press Highlights, Fall 2005 (Adobe .pdf 2.1 MB): This fall, FairVote's staff reached millions of readers through guest columns, press quotes, and editorial boards in some of the most respected publications around the nation. Read excerpts from some of the season's best press hits.

New Digital Video Library: Visit FairVote's new online video library, and watch video clips of John Cleese making the case for proportional voting, as well as a series of other educational videos.

Diebold and Public Interest Elections: The resignation of voting equipment vendor Diebold's CEO further highlights the need for public interest election standards and greater efforts to remove partisanship from the administration of American elections. FairVote highlights several key steps toward achieving public interest elections.

Redistricting Reform and Proportional Voting: With reformers and pundits continuing to move forward with redistricting reform efforts and discussions, FairVote's staff has been there to respond to various proposals and articles. Rob Richie's blog posts highlight the value of an impartial redistricting process, but at the same time the need for a more honest dialogue about the limitations of redistricting reform in creating competition or fair representation -- and the solution that would be provided by proportional voting.

100% Voter Registration Project Gains Momentum: FairVote's 100% Registration Project is enjoying a wave of momentum as we head into 2006. Many local councilmembers, state legislators, election officials and education officials are exploring ways to create or improve high school voter registration and education programs.

Instant Runoff Voting in Your State: IRV America program's new guide to advocacy for spoiler-free voting around the nation.

Democracy SoS: Learn about the top election officials in your state and potential 2006 Secretary of State candidates through our Democracy SoS project.

FairVote is Hiring!: We have immediate openings for a Development Associate and an IRV America Associate. Please forward these job announcements to anyone you think might be interested in applying.

Get Involved
Happy Holidays!

Thanks to everyone who supported us in 2005. Happy holidays from the FairVote staff, and we hope you have a safe and pleasant New Year!
Support Fair Elections

2005 is coming to an end, and FairVote has done a lot. Help make 2006 our most successful year yet for election reform by donating today!

FairVote is in the Combined Federal Campaign in 2005 under our old name "Center for Voting and Democracy."

Our CFC number is 2691.

Thanks for your support!


Visit FairVote's new [BLOG] - featuring commentary on redistricting reform, the upcoming Iraqi elections, and more!

Our feature blogpost of the month is about Iraq's upcoming parliamentary elections, which will be using a proportional voting system. [More...]

... and in case you didn't know, we are [Podcasting]!

Who Picks the President? Probably Not You.

Ryan O'Donnell talks to NPR in New York about presidential elections (5.9 MB)

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News & Commentary

A Note to FairVote Members

FairVote members will shortly receive our appeal for support in 2005. Be on the lookout for a letter from John Anderson, a general update from Rob Richie (with personal notes to many members) and summaries of our 2005 reports and recent press attention. Please give generously!