Content Authored by Rob Richie

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  • Portland's Biggest Winner: Democracy with Ranked Choice Voting

    What shouldn’t be missed in the fray of post-election coverage in Maine is the glorious five minutes of pure democratic spirit that everyone experienced when the round-by-results results of the first ranked choice voting election for Portland's mayor were presented before everyone's eyes. In what other instance would you have every single candidate in the race, their supporters, the media, community members that were just curious, all in one room, waiting to hear the results? For those five minutes, there wasn't any politicking, just democracy in action.

  • Irish presidential election with instant runoff voting: Voter choice without "spoilers"

    Our political leaders are again rolling the dice with the American people. Rather than pursue statutory solutions to potential electoral landmines, they've left intact a set of electoral rules that aren’t designed for elections where voters have more than two choices. Ireland last month showcased a better way in its elections. As with all other well-established democracies with presidential elections, Ireland elects its president based on a national popular vote. It uses instant runoff voting to uphold the goal of majority rule. 

  • Gallup Poll: National Popular Vote Favored by Majority

    Latest poll on Electoral College versus a national popular vote from Gallup shows that Americans across the major political parties and age groups support a popular vote for president. It’s time to go with the people and support a national popular vote for president – making every vote equal and every vote count.


  • NPV Critic Response Series: The Electoral College

    Critics of the National Popular Vote (NPV) plan often make misleading or misinformed remarks and judgments. To address these remarks, we are launching a new blog series designed to address the latest arguments from opponents. We start today by first reviewing some important features of the current Electoral College system and how those features influence our critique of current state laws governing modern elections. Subsequent posts will address arguments specifically and directly respond to new criticisms.

  • Pennsylvanians oppose congressional district system - but also status quo

    Poll numbers are useful in today's politics, but it is important to remember that the answers to other relevant questions may not always be present. Pennsylvanians oppose of Senate majority leader Dominic Pileggi’s proposal to allocate electoral votes by congressional district, but they also oppose the current system.

  • Fuzzy Math: Wrong Way Reforms for Allocating Electoral College Votes

    This updated analysis (first published in 2007) analyzes two of the three major options available to state leaders interested in reforming how a state allocates its Electoral College votes: the whole number proportional system and congressional district system. It evaluates them on the basis of whether they promote majority rule, make elections more nationally competitive, reduce incentives for partisan machinations and make all votes count equally. Our analysis reveals that both of these methods fail to meet our criteria and fall far short of the National Popular Vote plan, which is the third major option available to reformers.

  • Mitigating the Pernicious Effects of Gerrymandering in North Carolina: The Super-District Alternative

    North Carolina lawmakers have approved one of the nation’s most extreme partisan gerrymanders this year. Four of the state’s seven Democratic incumbents are clearly targeted for defeat. The new map reduces the number of the state’s 13 congressional districts carried by Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential race from eight to only three, with the remaining 10 district all ones where John McCain won at least 55% of the vote. But FairVote's proportional voting plan in super districts would create a level playing field for people of all parties and races.

  • Voting Rights Constitutional Amendment Gathers Steam


    Nothing is more fundamental to democracy that a fully protected right to vote. That’s why it belongs in the U.S. Constitution.

    That's why we so pleased to share good news. Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. has introduced HJR 28, the Right to Vote amendment. If you want to support HJR 28, you can take action today. Without such a right specifically enumerated in our Constitution, our fundamental voting rights are at risk.  


  • Gerrymandering in Michigan and the Super District Remedy

    Controversies over redistricting in Michigan provide the latest evidence of the failure of winner-take-all, single member district rules. Winner-take-all elections inevitably represent many voters poorly and tempt partisans to gerrymander outcomes. The 1967 law mandating that states use them should be repealed so that states like Michigan can explore “super district” form of proportional voting to increase voter choice and fair outcomes.

    FairVote's example of how super districts would work in Michigan show that every district easily can be made to be competitive and guarantee fair representation.

  • Obama's Field Team: Swing State Power

    President Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign is already well underway. His early hires are the latest evidence of the negative effects of current state rules governing the Electoral College which force candidates to focus on a dwindling number of swing states -- and point to the value of adoption of the National Popular Vote plan for president.