FairVote Research on Local Elections

Out of all levels of elected government, city and county officials have perhaps the greatest impact on the everyday lives of Americans. High participation and fair voting systems in elections for councilors, mayors and county commissioners are therefore critically important to a healthy democracy. 

Unfortunately, local elections in the United States are often blighted by low and skewed turnout, unfair electoral systems and negative election campaigning. FairVote advocates fair representation voting and ranked choice voting for local elections to help remedy these problems. 


Lane County Oregon Elections (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Ranked Choice Voting Civility Project

In 2013, FairVote received a generous grant from the Democracy Fund for a comprehensive two-year study of the impact of ranked choice voting (RCV) on campaign cooperation and civility in the United States. Working with the Eagleton Poll at Rutgers University and a core team of four academics led by Dr. Caroline Tolbert of the University of Iowa, we have sought local voters' views in opinion polls, analyzed newspaper coverage and candidates' social media activity and engaged in statistical analyses of individual-level voting data. Research, reports and our findings about how RCV increases campaign civility can be accessed here.   

Cities and Counties Already Using Fair Representation Voting

Over 200 jurisdictions already use forms of Fair Representation Voting, in which more than one representative is elected per district. Access the full list here