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
// June 25, 2015
June 29, 2015
The 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.
June 26, 2015
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.
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.
- New York State Senate backs ranked choice voting. On June 17, the New York State Senate voted 60-2 to establish ranked choice voting ("instant runoff") for New York City's primaries. Citizens Union, a non partisan good government organization, praised vote and stated how instant runoff “better reflects voter choice and gives the winner a stronger mandate once in office.”
- Oregon House backs National Popular Vote plan. On May 18, the Oregon House of Representatives voted 37-21 to enact the National Popular Vote plan for president.
- The Washington Post favors ranked choice voting. On May 14, the Editorial Board for the Washington Post expressed support for ranked choice voting in city elections as a way to make “every vote cast more meaningful.”
- Maine ranked choice voting campaign heads toward 2016 ballot. Mainers are nearly certain to be voting on whether to adopt ranked choice voting for elections for governor, Congress and state legislature in November 2016.
- Sightline Institute’s “What Democracy Looks Like” series makes the case for fair representation and ranked choice voting. Analyst Kristin Eberhard has written six remarkable pieces discussing how our current voting system creates low turnout, uncompetitive, and negative elections and how fair representation can address these problems.
- FairVote highlights disturbing numbers from 12 states in Decided States report. FairVote's new report focuses on 12 states where legislative control and most individual seats are never in doubt. These states foster an environment where a small group of unrepresentative voters, in low turnout primary elections, dictate who will control the legislature.
- Duluth campaign for ranked choice voting gathers steam. Local activists are pushing hard to have Duluth (MN) be the next city to adopt ranked choice voting.
- Where to get the scoop: Check out FairVote's Blogspot site for quick access to important election reform news.
Catch the FairVote Reformer for the latest updates on systemic election reform.
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.