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Evaluating the Efficiency Gap as a Measure of Proportionality and Competition

Posted by Theodore Landsman on May 31, 2017
Evaluating the Efficiency Gap as a Measure of Proportionality and Competition

As legal director Drew Penrose discussed last December, one of the most important developments for electoral reform last year was a challenge to partisan gerrymandering in Wisconsin -- a case that holds the promise to shake up unfair maps across the nation. FairVote hopes to contribute an amicus brief to the case that will discuss the potential of fair representation remedies. Here research analyst Theo Landsman steps back to review the idea of fair legislative elections through the lens of FairVote's support for fair representation as the long-term reform solution to breakdowns in our legislative elections.

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FairVote Releases Dubious Democracy 2016

Posted by Author Johnathan Nowakowski on May 01, 2017
FairVote Releases Dubious Democracy 2016

Last week, we released our Dubious Democracy 2016 dataset on U.S. House elections. The story that the 2016 election data tells is damning. Like past elections, the 2016 U.S. House elections proved to be incredibly uncompetitive. As demonstrated in FairVote’s most recent Monopoly Politics report, multiple metrics reveal that inequality and a dearth of competition continues to plague congressional elections.

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Shifts in Incumbency Advantage in the US House

Posted by Theodore Landsman on April 25, 2017
Shifts in Incumbency Advantage in the US House

Despite strong anti-establishment sentiment, which contributed to Donald Trump’s election and Bernie Sanders’ strong primary performance, more than 98% of U.S. House members won re-election in November. Not only were most incumbents re-elected, they were re-elected by significantly more comfortable margins than in 2014. The “incumbency bump” -- our measure of the strength of congressional incumbents -- rebounded from a 20-year low of 2.55% in 2014 to 3.2%. In other words, incumbents earned an average of 3.2 percentage points more of the vote than the partisanship of their district suggests they would earn.

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An Important New Book on Election Reform

Posted by Drew Penrose on April 19, 2017
An Important New Book on Election Reform

Changing How America Votes, edited by Todd Donovan, includes 13 innovative ideas about how to assess our democracy and make elections in the United States better. FairVote’s reform vision is well-represented in the collection, including a chapter making the case for the Fair Representation Act for Congress.

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