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 4, 2015
April 23, 2015
National Democracy Slam 2015 offered in-depth and innovative exchanges of ideas and evaluation of democratic reforms. In he final "Democracy Slam," moderated by NBC's Chuck Todd, a high-powered panel of judges evaluated six bold ideas -- see which reforms they and the audience thought would have the biggest impact on core criteria of well-functioning democracy.
April 23, 2015
FairVote's new Policy Perspective discusses two statutory changes involving ranked choice voting to mitigate problems with California's Top Two Primary system and a third more comprehensive reform via a state constitutional change in order to increase voter choice and promote fairer representation.
April 9, 2015
Voter turnout in city council elections in Ferguson (MO) increased, and its elected representation is more reflective of its citizenry. But it's not time to celebrate. Executive director Rob Richie analyzes this story as part of disturbing trend in local voter turnout.
Everyone -- from journalists, to authors, to political scientists, to the general public -- is buzzing about FairVote's reforms. Here's the latest:
- FairVote held its National Democracy Slam on April 22! Seventeen bold 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.
- 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.
- FairVote and the Bipartisan Policy Center released a new report, Best Practices for Collaborative Policymaking. FairVote researchers examine state legislatures and identify and recommend rules/practices that can empower bipartisan cooperation.
- Michael Golden's new book, Unlock Congress, highlights FairVote's innovative solutions to congressional gridlock. Copies now available for sale!
- FairVote gained considerable media attention recently, with shout outs from Robert Reich in the Baltimore Sun and from Aaron Blake in the Washington Post.
- Ranked choice voting in Maine is turning heads and gaining support. 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 Lincoln County News, in which the author extols the virtues of Portland’s elections and asks “wouldn't it be great to have that kind of experience with our three to six candidate statewide elections?”
- FairVote welcomed two new full time staffers this week. Michelle Whittaker is the new Communications Director, and Doug Clopp is the new Outreach Director. Stay tuned for their bios!
- 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.