“Government of Few” Report Highlights New Tools Exposing our Broken Democracyby Rob Richie // June 12, 2015 //
FairVote today released Government of the Few in the “Decided Dozen" -- Frozen Representation and the Distorted Demographics of Decisive Primary Elections. Report authors Andrew Douglas and Zack Avre zero in on the “Decided Dozen”—12 states where control over the state legislature and the outcome of the great majority of general election races is never in doubt, leaving the only meaningful choices and power to voters in low turnout, unrepresentative primary contests. The report highlights two important analytic tools FairVote will use for a series of reports this summer on the broken nature of our representative democracy.
Mississippi election of new Member of Congress with Louisiana form of Top Two makes case for ranked choice votingby Rob Richie // May 15, 2015 //
On May 12, voters in the first congressional district of Mississippi voted for a new Member of Congress in the wake of the unfortunate death of Congressman Alan Nunnelee. With a large fractured field of candidates and split votes forcing a runoff, this election makes an excellent case for ranked choice voting in one of two forms.
Inequitable British Elections Provide Lessons for US Reformersby Sarah John // May 12, 2015 //
The 2015 British election delivered a single party government that little more than a third of Britons voted for. The election also once again returned a parliament with very different political affiliations than British voters. Many have commented on the disproportionate election results. Few Americans are likely to imagine that similarly disproportionate results occur in the US on a regular basis. In this blog post, FairVote explores the disproportionality of UK election results country-by-country and compares them to regional US congressional results. It shows that similar levels of disproportionality are already experienced in the US, meaning that calls for fair representation voting are just as relevant in the US as in the UK.
Special Elections: A "Mandate" from the 4%by Michelle Whittaker // May 12, 2015 //
Special elections for DC City Council positions in Wards 4 and 8 saw dismally low levels of turnout. FairVote's new Communications Director, Michelle Whittaker, explains why fair voting systems can make a difference in engaging more voters and achieving more fair outcomes.
How Judges Evaluated Reforms at Democracy Slam 2015by Austin Plier // April 23, 2015 //
National Democracy Slam 2015 offered in-depth and innovative exchanges of ideas and evaluation of democratic reforms. In he final "Democracy Slam," moderated by NBC's Chuck Todd, a high-powered panel of judges evaluated six bold ideas -- see which reforms they and the audience thought would have the biggest impact on core criteria of well-functioning democracy.
Reforming California's Top Two Primaryby Cameron Ferrante // April 23, 2015 //
FairVote's new Policy Perspective discusses two statutory changes involving ranked choice voting to mitigate problems with California's Top Two Primary system and a third more comprehensive reform via a state constitutional change in order to increase voter choice and promote fairer representation.
Don't Let Ferguson Turnout Numbers Fool You. America, We Have a Problem.by Rob Richie // April 9, 2015 //
Voter turnout in city council elections in Ferguson (MO) increased, and its elected representation is more reflective of its citizenry. But it's not time to celebrate. Executive director Rob Richie analyzes this story as part of disturbing trend in local voter turnout.
Cumulative Voting Wins in Peoriaby Cameron Ferrante // April 8, 2015 //
Peoria, Illinois held an election yesterday for five of its city council seats in which voters had cumulative voting rights. Since 1991, Peoria has used cumulative voting to elect its five at-large City Councilmen, leading to increased minority representation.
Oklahoma Voter Turnout Suffers without National Popular Vote Planby Claire Daviss, Rob Richie // March 13, 2015 //
The current Electoral College system -- one that Oklahoma state legislators have the power to help change -- leaves Oklahoma voters at a disadvantage during and between presidential elections. A comparison of voter turnout patterns in Oklahoma and Virginia tells the story, contradicting inaccurate analysis from an Oklahoma think tank.
Progress and Opportunity for Ranked Choice Voting in 2015by Grace Ramsey // March 10, 2015 //
2015 is shaping up to be a monumental year for ranked choice voting (RCV). Across the country, a growing number of activists and legislators are taking steps to implement RCV in their city or state. Here's an overview of the legislation that has already been introduced this year.