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
// May 18, 2015
Mississippi election of new Member of Congress with Louisiana form of Top Two makes case for ranked choice votingMay 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.
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.
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.
Lots of big things are happening in the world of election reform, and FairVote is at the forefront! Here's the latest:
- Good news, election civility isn’t dead: Ranked choice voting encourages civility and positive campaigning, and voters support it -- 57 percent of voters living in four RCV cities agreed that it should be used in local elections, according to new FairVote research. Our team worked with the Eagleton Poll at Rutgers University and a core team of four academics led by Professor Caroline Tolbert of the University of Iowa.
- Collaborative practices make perfect: FairVote and the Bipartisan Policy Center released a new report, Best Practices for Collaborative Policymaking. FairVote researchers identify and recommend rules/practices that can empower bipartisan cooperation.
- Democracy Slam explores 17 bold election reform ideas (ICYMI): FairVote held its National Democracy Slam on April 22! Seventeen ideas for breaking partisan gridlock, ending gerrymandering, and improving America's elections and politics were explored during the day. Speakers included US Congress members and community organizers. View the webcast here.
- Representation 2020 gets a boost: Long-time organizational ally Hogan Lovells announced its official partnership with FairVote (specifically to support its Representation 2020 initiative).
- Electoral reform movement gains momentum across the pond: The recent UK General Election sparked growing support for the proportional representation/fair representation voting movement. FairVote Staffer Sarah John discusses lessons for US reformers.
- FairVote is turning heads in news media: Check out this piece from Sightline Institute and this post on the Independent Voter Network website.
- Ranked choice voting continues to be Maine event: Recent media pieces include an editorial from the USM Free Press, in which the author calls upon Mainers to take the “opportunity to be a pioneer, this time, for better elections,” and this Letter to the Editor from the Irregular Newspaper, in which the author enumerates the “distinct advantages to ranked choice elections.”
- 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.