E-Newsletter March 10, 2006

Released March 10, 2006


Burlington Earns National Accolades

First IRV Election for Mayor a Big Success

Friday, March 10th 2006


On Tuesday, Burlington, Vermont proved that instant runoff voting (IRV) hasn't just arrived in that state. It has arrived nationally. It's time to take this democratic innovation to a higher level.

Burlington's mayoral election was a smashing success for IRV. The Burlington Free Press got it right with their post-election article: "Burlington Voters Ace Instant Runoff." In line with the city's recent history of electing candidates of his party, state legislator Bob Kiss of the Progressive Party is the new mayor. The voting went very smoothly, and the city instantly achieved a majority winner after a first-round vote of 39% for Kiss to 31% for a Democrat to 26% for a Republican. Kiss won despite being outspent by a margin of some eight to one and was successful in part by campaigning vigorously for second choices in areas of the city where Republican candidate won most first choices.

On Election Day, Burlington resident Howard Dean made a point of voting in person, coming out of the polling booth to laud the IRV system to reporters. The Associated Press's pre-election and post-election articles about IRV ran in major newspapers across the nation. And New Jersey's capital city newspaper the Trenton Times published a powerful editorial in favor of the system today. In fact, a bill is in the legislature for a formal study of IRV in New Jersey.

That's why we've decided it's time to form the IRVictory Fund. We need a vehicle to draw support for the exciting efforts developing around the nation — a bill in the Vermont state legislature, city campaigns in places like Minneapolis (MN), Cincinnati (OH) and Davis (CA) and legislative efforts to establish ranked ballots for overseas and military voters in runoffs. The Fund also is designed to draw more people into action and to inspire more prominent figures to signal their support for majority voting through IRV for our highest offices. Read below for more.

Indeed, it's an exciting time for us in general as we advance our vision of how "democracy will be." Thanks for reading!

ROb Richie's 

Rob Richie
Executive Director


Burlington elects mayor with instant runoff voting Vermont's biggest city a big boost to national reform.

National Popular Vote off to strong start Campaign is winning strong editorial endorsements, including the Chicago Sun-Times, and interest is now bubbling in several states. Stay tuned!

Advancing voting rights in California FairVote and California Common Cause file an amicus brief arguing that proportional voting systems can be remedies in state Voting Rights Act cases.

Senate companion bill to the Fairness and Independence in Redistricting Act FairVote took the lead among civic groups in suggesting a national approach to the problem for congressional districts and in helping to draft and support the House bill.

UK Commission Investigates Disengagement With Politics It's not apathy, news media, overwork, or a distractingly high standard of living. Challenging winner-take-all elections systems is a fundamental and necessary step.

DC FAIR Act Would Bring Congressional Representation to the Nation's Capitol The DC Fairness in Representation Act (HR 2043), sponsored by Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA), would give DC a voting member in the House of Representatives.

Get Involved
  • FairVote welcomes Rachel Lewis as its Outreach Director. Rachel comes to FairVote after working for Sen. Hillary Clinton.

  • FairVote.org is Site of the Day at Politics1.com

  • Site of the day 



Richie on the Road in a funny car

Our Executive Director and resident road warrior Rob Richie is out on the West Coast, talking to activists, meeting with changemakers, and teaming up with FairVote Board members Krist Novoselic, Cindy Terrell and Pete Martineau for a series of pro-democracy house parties!

A National Popular Vote

FairVote's Ryan O'Donnell on Northeast Public Radio on reforming the way we elect the president. (.mp3 5.5MB)

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IRVictory Fund

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