FairVote Reformer February 2012

Released February 24, 2012

February 23
Newsletter Features

Oscar: Rank Your Choices

FairVote Featured in High Profile Media

Ranked Choice Voting Earns Strong Support

Honor John Anderson and Double your Donation

Primary Season Resources--And Please Vote!

Question of the Month

Oscar: Rank Your Choices for Best Picture

It’s Oscar season, always an exciting time for election reformers! As detailed at our site Oscar Votes  123, the Academy Awards uses the choice voting form of proportional representation in its nomination process and the instant runoff form of ranked choice voting to determine the winner of Best Picture.

FairVote gives you a chance to rank your choices. Please weigh in! Vote for your pick for Best Picture.

The Wrap’s Steve Pond covers the Oscars better than anyone. He nicely summarizes the difference between what it takes to be nominated (with proportional voting) and what it take to win Best Picture (with instant runoff voting).   “Successful Oscar campaigns are geared at mobilizing the minority in the first round, and appealing to the majority in the second. Passion = nomination. Consensus = gold statuette.”


FairVote on CSPAN, BBC, and Pages of New York Times

FairVote has been in the news a lot recently! From starting the dialogue about fair voting plans of proportional voting across the country in a series of opeds, to appearing on national television, FairVote is adding an important voice to a media dialogue that tends to be about problems, not solutions.

Rob Richie had the lead letter and a final word to responses in the New York Times’ Sunday Dialogue. He also appeared as a guest on CSPAN’s Washington Journal and radio programs like the BBC. We’ve also been busy with new writings on fair voting in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, universal voter registration for the American Constitutional Society, and a wide range of topics on the FairVote blog, including on the 200th anniversary of the first “Gerry-mander”, a dose of proportional voting in Egypt, and presidential travel patterns affected by swing states.


Ranked Choice Voting Has Strong Support in Bay Area and Minnesota

Ranked choice voting (instant runoff voting) will be used this November in four Bay Area cities, including San Francisco and Oakland.  Some disgruntled opponents of RCV have tried to spur opposition to it, but aren’t getting far. A super-majority of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors this month indicated their opposition to repealing RCV. The case for how well RCV has worked – and ideas for improving it – is strongly presented at SFBetterElections.com.

RCV has fans across the nation. As one example, see an excellent new commentary by two business leaders at the Minnesota Public Radio site. Stay tuned for a lot more discussion of why it would make sense in the GOP primaries and for the general election for president this year.


FairVote Reform Ideas on the Move

FairVote has played a key role in introducing several terrific reform ideas into mainstream discussion. Examples that are moving well in the states include the National Popular Vote plan for president, a constitutional right to vote, and voter pre-registration for young adults. See our rundown of active state and federal congressional legislation. Please urge your Member to back HJR 28 and your state legislators to back National Popular Vote.


Still Time to Double Your Donation on Behalf of John Anderson!

This February is particularly special because it marks FairVote board member John Anderson’s 90th birthday.  John served 20 years in Congress and earned more than six million votes as an independent candidate for president in 1980 – and has played a key role in FairVote’s history, including more than a decade as chair. See our page honoring John and sign this birthday card!

As our donors know, the Board has committed to match every dollar that is given to FairVote for the rest of February. If you give $50, that means $100 for our transformative work. If you give $250, it means $500. If you give $500, it means $1,000. And as FairVote is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, your donation is also fully tax-deductible. Please give generously through our secure donation portal or through the mail to:

6930 Carroll Avenue, Suite 610
Takoma Park, MD 20912


Primary Season: Let’s Vote!  / FairVote’s Primary Resources

A lot of states are holding presidential primaries, and congressional primaries will begin in March.  Let’s surprise the skeptics and vote in big numbers. We especially urge 17-year-olds to take advantage of their “first vote” opportunity if they will be 18 by November and live in one of the many states allowing them to participate in primaries. For more primary resources, see:

·         Open and Closed Primaries

·         Delegate Allocation Rules in 2012

·         GOP Nomination Contest Results and Delegate Allocation

·         Romney 2008 vs. Romney 2012 & Paul 2008 vs. Paul 2012


Question of the Month:

It’s 200 years since former Massachusetts Governor Elbridge Gerry signed into law the famous “Gerry-mander.” Is there a better way? We sure think so, as detailed here.  Share your ideas by connecting with us on Facebook or Twitter. Learn more at www.fairvote.org – and stay tuned for ideas on how you can work for change in your community.

Thanks for reading, and please send us your thoughts and questions at info [at] fairvote.org.