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FairVote Blog

  • FairVote in the Supreme Court

    by Drew Spencer // August 27, 2015 //


    This month, FairVote submitted amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) briefs along with the Center for Competitive Democracy in the Supreme Court for two cases. One concerns closed primaries in New Jersey; the other concerns the "top two" system in California. In both, FairVote hopes to inform the Court of the various options states have for primary election and ballot access reform, and how those choices can affect voters.

  • A Brief History of Ranked Choice Voting

    by Krist Novoselic // August 26, 2015 //


    Ranked choice voting is not a new idea. It is constitutionally protected and has a long history in our nation. The reform is reemerging as an alternative to the two round voting use in non-partisan municipal election, and it can also work in partisan elections.

  • Single-winner Districts: Not what the Founding Fathers intended

    by Jack Denvir // August 17, 2015 //

    256px Declaration independenceIn many regards, modern American democracy is dysfunctional -- especially at the national level. Congress is mired in gridlock; passing few laws that align with what the American people want.

  • The Ranked Choice Voting Act

    by Sarah John, Haley Smith // August 13, 2015 //

    ranked choice voting act

    Prominent legal scholar and political activist Larry Lessig has entered the 2016 race for the White House. Lessig’s plan for promoting equal representation advocates for passage of FairVote’s Ranked Choice Voting Act. The act seeks to promote better representation and end gerrymandering once and for all, promote collaboration between parties, and deliver political representation more proportional to the composite of the people.

  • What the Republican Party Could Learn from the Oscars

    by Rob Richie // August 3, 2015 //

    RNC Oscar

    The Republican Party is holding its first presidential debate on August 6, to be televised on Fox News. Fox will limit the debate to ten participants, but they could learn how to make sure all significant voices are heard from nominations for the Academy Awards.

  • Second Choices Mean a Second Chance to Determine Real GOP Frontrunner

    by Rob Richie, Molly Rockett // July 25, 2015 //


    It's time for pollsters to be more innovative in surveys of multi-candidate fields like the 2016 presidential nomination contest. A new Public Policy Polling (PPP) survey makes a good start in asking for second choices and reporting the totals for "pairings" of candidates. Doing so allow a simulation of ranked choice voting.


  • Review: Michael Golden’s Unlock Congress: Reform the Rules – Restore the System

    by Andrew Douglas // July 16, 2015 //

    Unlock CongressFairVote's Andrew Douglas reviews Michael Golden's new book Unlock Congress: Reform the Rules – Restore the System, which is a rallying cry for reform to fix what ails our dysfunctional Congress.

  • Primary Elections 2016: Can You Vote?

    by Drew Spencer, John Werner // July 9, 2015 //

    Open Closed PrimariesWhen it comes time to vote in the 2016 congressional primary elections, will you be allowed to vote in the primary of your choice? We’ve updated our analysis on  every state’s rules for its primary elections: open primaries, closed primaries, “semi-closed” primaries, and the handful of states that do something else entirely.

  • Independent Commissions Win in Court - But What's Next?

    by Drew Spencer // June 29, 2015 //

    Supreme Court StepsThe U.S. Supreme Court made the right decision in upholding independent redistricting commissions, however these commissions still do not resolve the problems that come with single-winner districts. We need Congress to replace our current system with multi-winner districts with ranked choice voting to truly put the power back in the people's hands. 

  • The 2015 Turkish Election: A More Proportional Result than Usual

    June 26, 2015 //

    Turkish general election 2015 Labour Party Turkey cropped

    The Turkish election in June 2015 was remarkable for many reasons. In this short piece, FairVote's Robert Buderi explores the ins and outs of the 2015 campaign and the operation of Turkey's party list proportional system. Buderi shows that a high national threshold in a proportional representation system tends to undermine the proportionality of election results and introduce some of the problems rife in winner-take-all plurality systems like the US and Britain.