E-Newsletter June 1, 2006

Released June 1, 2006
FairVote NewsFlash

June News: FairVote Taking Action!

June 1st, 2006


Instant Runoff Voting Wins in Vermont and Minneapolis The Minneapolis City Council voted 11-1 on May 26 to submit to the voters a charter amendment to use instant runoff voting (IRV) for city elections. It will appear as a question on the November 7, 2006 ballot. The Vermont house and senate voted in favor of a bill to study how to implement IRV on the statewide level by 2008. Other localities may vote to establish IRV ballot measures shortly.

Major Victory for National Popular Vote in California and inroads in New York and Louisiana California, Louisiana and New York made strong advances for the National Popular Vote plan for presidential elections in May. The California State Assembly passed the proposal by a strong 49-31 margin, a Louisiana committee passed the proposal and five Republicans in New York introduced the proposal.

U.S. House Representation for D.C. Voters in the District of Columbia may finally get some representation to go along with their taxation. A bill to give a congressional seat to D.C. and adding one at-large seat to Utah passed the House Committee on Government Reform with strong bipartisan support and now heads to the House Judiciary Committee. The proposal touches on other FairVote priorities as well: showing how Congress by statute can increase the number of U.S. House seats and can allow states to use multi-seat districts. The extra seat would mean an addition vote in the Electoral College that would greatly decrease the odds of an electoral tie in presidential races.

Get Involved


Taylor Hicks' victory in American Idol drew more votes than expected in November. We don't support anonymous, repeated voting in our elections, but we do applaud the fact that American Idol has a national vote, rather than a state-by-state Electoral College-type vote, and that the multiple week process of dropping the last-place performer is an excellent demonstration of how instant runoff voting works. Hicks was a majority winner.

Economist John Kenneth Galbraith died on April 29th. A distinguished teacher, political advisor, and writer, Galbraith was a strong advocate of proportional voting — connecting to earlier generations of proportional voting advocates like Walter Lippman, A. Philip Randolph, George Norris, Jane Addams, Carrie Chapman Catt and Paul Douglas.

FairVote Board Member Hendrik Hertzberg won the prestigious National Magazine Award for his New Yorker commentaries — ones that often make the case for electoral reform.

FairVote welcomes Bill Shein, who takes the reigns of our Presidential Elections Reform program. We also welcome a slew of top-notch volunteer summer interns ready to work to claim our democracy!


⇒ Presidential Primary Report FairVote will shortly release a new report on improving the Presidential nomination process. Our latest report demonstrates how urban voters have less influence in the presidential primary than warranted by their numbers. This problem can be addressed in the short term with an early Democratic primary in Washington, D.C. in 2008 and comprehensive bipartisan nomination process reform before 2012.

⇒ Municipal Right to Vote Project FairVote has initiated a special project to promote a constitutional right to vote and achieve meaningful changes in its spirit at a local and state level. The project will combine cities and states supporting a resolution in favor of a constitutional right to vote and pledging to examine their own practices to secure a protected right for all.

Commentary and News

California seeks a brighter place in the sun in presidential election
Los Angeles Times

The LA Times covers the National Popular Vote Campaign highlighting all the major points and mentions FairVote Chair John Anderson

Eliminating 146 polls is no solution
The Wichita Eagle

America needs to go back to the drawing board for comprehensive election reform, argues FairVote's Ryan O'Donnell in the wake of Wichita's decision to close 70% of its polling places.

Electoral reform on minority candidates
Kuwait Times

FairVote's Jack Santucci is quoted on the effects of Kuwait's proposed electoral reform package on representation of political minorities.

Will Louisiana lead the nation?

FairVote's Rob Richie comments on a bill in Louisiana could make the state the first of what promises to be dozens of states entering into the National Popular Vote agreement.

Democratizing the Legislature — Proportional Representation
California Chronicle

California Green Party Secretary of State candidate Forrest Hill argues proportional voting would increase voter choice and legislative responsiveness. State Senator Deborah Bowen, potential Democratic nominee for the office, also backs ranked voting methods in California.

Electoral Vote Reform: Is It an Idea Whose Time Has Come?
Roll Call

Roll Call's Louis Jacobson looks into the National Popular Vote campaign in this article quoting FairVote's Rob Richie.

'Instant Runoff' idea is gaining momentum
The Herald News

Illinois local paper touts the merits of IRV and references FairVote as one of its major promoters.

District of Columbia: A civil rights issue

Former Republican vice-presidential candidate Jack Kemp calls for support for congressional representation for citizens of the District of Columbia.

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