Our Mission: FairVote advances systemic electoral reform to achieve a fully participatory and truly representative democracy that respects every vote and every voice in every election. We work toward these goals by providing advocates with innovative research and reform strategy. We promote ranked choice voting (“instant runoff”), a constitutionally protected right to vote, a national popular vote for president, and, most fundamentally, fair representation voting forms of proportional representation.
Blog and News
New from the Blog
// October 12, 2015
September 11, 2015
The Court of Appeal for the Seventh Circuit recently struck down the use limited nominations in judicial elections in Indianapolis, Indiana. It held that the law substantially burdened "the right of voters to have an effective voice in the general election."
Smart Ranked Choice Polling in the Presidential Race by PPP: New Poll Clarifies Nature of Donald Trump’s SupportSeptember 1, 2015
After a fiery first Republican Presidential Debate on August 6th, the GOP primary field has continued to shift and change, leaving many pollsters struggling to catch up. To the surprise of many observers, Donald Trump has continued his surge – but new polling techniques helps clarify the nature of his support.
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.
With a crowded field of candidates vying for the Republican and Democratic nominations to be the next President of the United States, more people are seeing the value of ranking the candidates, including smart presentation of second-choices by Public Policy Polling.
Earlier this year, FairVote and Civinomics released an app that allows users to rank the candidates in either the Republican field or the Democratic field, as well as rank the parties themselves. Voters can view results and eliminate candidates one-by-one to see where those candidates' second-choice support lies to get a better sense of who the strongest candidates really are. The results are weighted to reflect national preferences based on scientific polling, so they likely reflect national sentiment.
The results are illuminating. For example, although Donald Trump continues to poll higher than any Republican in first-choice support (at about 24%), he lacks broad appeal and easily loses to either Ben Carson or Carly Fiorina as other candidates drop out. With ranked choice voting, the picture is both fuller and more clear.
In debating options for reforming presidential elections in the United States, the most promising alternative to the status quo is the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPV). But even though we use popular vote elections to select every member of Congress and all 50 governors, some NPV skeptics warn that its adoption would have a partisan impact on presidential elections. They fear that Democrats could increase their national vote totals by focusing resources on major metropolitan areas, while Republicans could achieve similar gains only by spreading their resources across more geographically dispersed, non-urban areas. This report challenges this argument in three ways.
States have a constitutional obligation to decide how they will allocate their electoral votes during presidential elections. Almost all states currently use statewide, winner-take-all rules, which gives all of the state's votes to the winner of the statewide popular vote. But some states have considered alternative methods, such as the whole number proportional system and the congressional district system. We look at the effect these systems would have on presidential elections. Neither system promotes majority rule, increases competitiveness nationwide, or ensures voter equality.
On the latest episode of FairVote Voices:
An interview with Mayor Mike Brennan of Portland, Maine on how ranked choice voting influenced how he campaigned and how he governs.
Legal fellow Drew Spencer interviews Jerome Gray about his career fighting for voting rights and fair voting in Alabama.