Every vote cast in every election should be of equal value, regardless of where a voter lives or for whom they vote. Popular will should never be threatened by illogical, anachronistic mechanisms divorced from the democratic ideal of one person, one vote. Nor should our system be such that candidates can win single-seat offices despite being opposed by the majority. Americans deserve a system in which all voices can be part of the debate without fear of "spoiling" an election; one that is transparent, accountable and honors equality and majority rule.
Therefore, FairVote supports several reforms to the way that we elect out president. The first is the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which would make every vote by every American equally important in the general election (for more information on National Popular Vote, see here).
FairVote also supports alterations to the nation's current primary system. For more information alternative primary methods, see FairVote's sister website FixthePrimaries.com.
For more on our commentary and reform proposals, see below.
The Electoral College and National Popular Vote
The Presidential Tracker provides information on where the candidates have been holding campaign events since the end of the Democratic National Convention. As is to be expected, there has been a marked focus on swing states. In fact, in the past two months, the candidates have only held campaign events, defined as events meant to court voters in the place where the events are held, in 11 states. However, they have been fundraising heavily in places where they are not campaigning, such as New York, California, Texas, and Georgia.
In addition, since 2009, FairVote has been tracking the movements of the President Obama using data from the Washington Post's ‘POTUS Tracker' in order to examine the effect of battleground status on presidential attention. Fairvote's analysis of Presidential visits and events shows a significant emphasis on the declared 'battleground states' for the 2012 election and, in the period before the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, a heightened attention to states with high donation rates in the 2008 election. We have also tracked where Mitt Romney has spent his time campaigning since he became the presumptive Republican nominee on April 24, 2012. For spreadsheets of his data, check out our Presidential Tracker page.
Presidential Tracker Blog:
See our commentary on how the winner-take-all method of allocating Electoral College votes affects the way the candidates are campaigning during the 2012 election cycle here.
National Popular Vote:
The inequality perpetuated by the winner-take-all rule has inspired FairVote to advocate for direct election of the president and support the National Popular Vote plan, which ensures that every vote for president is equally valued no matter where it is cast. The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and the District of Columbia). Under the U.S. Constitution, the states have exclusive and plenary (complete) power to allocate their electoral votes, and may change their state laws concerning the awarding of their electoral votes at any time. Under the National Popular Vote bill, all of the state's electoral votes would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes - that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). Read more about the National Popular Vote here.
Throughout the Republican presidential primary season, FairVote assembled key resources to help understand the nomination process and illustrate the ways in which that process is fundamentally flawed.
The presidential primary system is broken. At FixthePrimaries.com, FairVote offers a number of alternative systems the parties could use to nominate their presidential contenders. These proposals, including including the FairVote-backed American Plan, would make the process saner and allow more voters to be heard.
Featured Presidential Elections Blogs
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.
February 23, 2015
Many are making predictions on which states will be battlegrounds in the 2016 presidential elections. Certainly a state's underlying partisanship matters. (The closer the state, the more likely it will draw campaign attention.) But do a candidate's individual qualities shape the states he or she targets, and how much?
February 19, 2015
For more than a century, Missouri was called the "bellwether state" for its tendency to swing between Democrats and Republicans. But Missouri's days as a battleground state appear to be over, as the state has become more Republican in every election since 1996. Read what Missouri can expect in the 2016 presidential election.
January 28, 2015
Almost all states use the winner-take-all system to allocate their electoral votes during presidential elections, but fed-up with being ignored during presidential elections, some states are now considering alternatives. Fuzzy Math: Wrong Way Reforms for Allocating Electoral Votes, FairVote's latest report, reveals that not all alternatives are good ones. The best option for states is to adopt the National Popular Vote plan.