Posted on October 04, 2017
The Fair Representation Act report outlines a bold plan to increase competition and fairness in U.S. House elections and reduce polarization of Members elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. The report simulates the projected impact of HR 3057 - The Fair Representation Act, by analyzing a series of hypothetical district maps generated automatically by software using parameters meant to approximate the Act's district-drawing rules.
The Fair Representation Act, HR 3057, would transform House elections through three primary reforms: 1) ranked choice voting, 2) multi-winner districts, and 2) independent redistricting commissions. We show that a U.S. House elected under the Fair Representation Act would look very different:
More competition and accountability. Right now, voters can hold few Representatives accountable for their actions (or inaction) in office. Nearly nine out of ten incumbents can take re-election in the general election for granted, absent a national landslide or a personal scandal. Only 15% of House seats represent districts with enough competitive partisanship for voters to have a chance at shifting the seat from one major party to the other. Under the Fair Representation Act, that amount would nearly triple, with far more opportunities for challengers from outside the two major parties and for competition between candidates of the same political party.
- Meaningful elections. By electing candidates proportionally from multi-winner districts with at least three seats each, fair representation voting would allow every voter to elect someone from the major party they support. Every district with at least three representatives would likely elect both Republicans and Democrats. And, more of each party's "big tent" would have the opportunity to support - and even elect - a candidate in the general election. “Red” states would elect more Democrats, “blue” states would elect more Republicans, and candidates would have an incentive to appeal to all voters regardless of party affiliation.
- Accurate Representation. Because election results with fair representation voting would be proportional within each district, the skewed outcomes of our current system would be a thing of the past. Voters that are now shut-out, like Republicans in Massachusetts or Democrats in Oklahoma, would win their fair share of representation. In every state, the number of seats earned by each party would align far more closely to their share of the vote.
A fair shot for moderates and independents. With proportional outcomes and a wider variety of candidates advancing to the general election, fair representation voting would reduce the outsized influence of partisan primary voters and empower the far larger and more representative electorate that participates in general elections. Like other groups, moderates would be empowered by the Fair Representation Act to win their fair share of representation.
- Better representation of our diversity. The United States lags behind 100 other countries in the proportion of women elected to its national legislature. More than 50 years after the passage of the Voting Rights Act, people of color remain woefully underrepresented in the People's House. Under the Fair Representation Act, women would have more opportunities to run and win in competitive elections. The power to elect representatives from communities of color would jump from around 70 seats today (in majority or plurality minority districts) to over 100 seats.
Explore the Impact of the Fair Representation Act
Compare competition levels, likely partisan outcomes, and minority representation under five different district plans:
- Fair Representation Act multi-winner districts (Fairvote.org)
- Autoredistrict's single-winner districts, created according to an algorithm following strict criteria (Autoredistrict.org)
- BDistricting's single-winner districts, created to optimize compactness and equal population (Bdistricting.org)
- The actual single-winner districts drawn after the 2010 Census (CY 2010 Actual)
- The actual single-winner districts drawn after the 2000 Census (CY 2000 Actual)
The Fair Representation Act in Your State
Click on your state to find out how the Fair Representation Act could transform representation in your state.