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
// August 12, 2015
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.
August 26, 2015
Ranked choice voting is not a new idea. It is constitutionally protected and has a long history in our nation. The reform is reemerging as an alternative to the two round voting use in non-partisan municipal election, and it can also work in partisan elections.
As the 2016 presidential election season begins, FairVote's reforms are making waves with the candidates and the public:
- Act now for ranked choice voting: FairVote is launching a movement for congressional reform by highlighting its proposed Ranked Choice Voting Act. The bill would make the U.S. House of Representatives truly effective and representative, by replacing winner-take-all elections with ranked choice voting in all 50 states.
- Presidential candidates push reform: Five different current or prospective major party presidential candidates are in favor of FairVote reforms: Larry Lessig announced a potential run for President, making the Ranked Choice Voting Act an important pillar in his platform; Bernie Sanders is a supporter of ranked choice voting and testified in favor it to the Vermont Senate Government Operations Committee in 2007; Hillary Clinton recently called for automatic, universal voter registration; both Martin O'Malley and Lincoln Chafee signed National Popular Vote into law during their time as governor of Maryland and Rhode Island, respectively. This month, O'Malley also endorsed the right to vote amendment. Several prospective third party and independent candidates also back our reform vision.
- Ranked choice voting is online: FairVote has partnered with Civinomics to launch a new, online ranked choice voting application. You can now rank your choices in the Republican presidential field, the Democratic presidential field, or just rank seven U.S. political parties (plus "independent"). Next month it will expand into an application for any user to create their own RCV poll for free.
- 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.