Beau Tremitiere contributes as guest blogger for FairVote. Beau is the Co-Founder of Election RAVE Campaign, a nonpartisan initiative promoting democratic participation and civic education in American law schools.
The act of selecting leaders is vital to a democracy. However, in 34 Congressional districts in 2016, voters won’t be making a choice. These 34 districts are held by incumbents who faced no opposition in their party’s primary and no major party competition in the general election.
Ever since I can remember, I have been interested in pursuing a career in public interest. The notion that people could collectively undertake in a common goal – to make the world better, is the central motivation behind my desire to attain an education involving policy. I attended Baldwin-Wallace College and the Ohio Northern University Claude W. Pettit College of Law, where I specialized in policy within the domestic and international context. My political enthusiasm further developed when I attended a week-long constitutional law seminar course involving the intersection between law and legislation in Washington, D.C. I recall sitting in on a Supreme Court case, meeting with elected officials, and taking a tour of the Dirksen Senate Office Building. Quite simply, I became inspired to be at the forefront of change.
Constitution Day, celebrated annually on September 17th, commemorates the founding fathers who designed and signed the Constitution in 1787. To celebrate, FairVote reflects on the founders’ vision for American democracy and how ranked choice voting corresponds with that vision.
Something as monumentally important for American democracy as its electoral process requires serious, data-driven solutions, and FairVote has shown that they have the answers. I’m excited to join FairVote’s team and work on finding the solutions that will expand access to the ballot box for all Americans.
Growing up in New York City, I was always an idealist when it came to politics -- a trait which grew deeper after attending an Obama presidential campaign rally in 2008 with my parents, and marching with Occupy Wall Street in 2011. Then I made the decision to major in political science and canvassed for several campaigns. The reality of American politics both academically and from on-the-ground outreach transformed me into something more of a political cynic or (more optimistically) realist. Working at FairVote offers me the ideal outlet for my idealist and realist impulse: to call out the current electoral system and political climate as broken, and champion real, proven reform.
Throughout this election season, FairVote has followed primary runoffs around the country and written about their many failings, including the enormous cost of one Alabama runoff and the dismal turnout for Texas’s runoffs. Unfortunately, Georgia’s July 26th contests appear to be another example of these failings.