Content Categorized with "Fair Voting/Proportional Representation"

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  • California: A Simulated Attempt at Super-Districts

    Michael S. Latner and Kyle Roach from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo have written a thoughtful article on adopting proportional representation in California, based on a simulation-type analysis.
    Their simulation deals with use of a proportional voting system to elect California’s 80 seat Assembly , echoing many of the points we have been making in our series of analyses of the value of the potential use of proportional voting in congressional elections in states such as Michigan and Louisiana.

  • South Carolina: The Super District Alternative

    Redistricting ensures that political district lines reflect population changes in the U.S. Census every ten years so that each district has the same number of voters per seat in a district.  South Carolina is in the midst of redistricting and, as with most states, it’s become complicated and increasingly controversial and partisan. As explained in our recent post on Michigan, FairVote proposes an alternative to the winner-take-all system that has plagued the redistricting process, and opened it up to gerrymandering, partisan bickering, and opportunism.

  • 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 The 1967 law mandating that states use them should be repealed so that states like Michigan can explore “super district” form of proportional voting to increase voter choice and fair outcomes.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.

  • Egypt Caretaker Government Passes Electoral Draft Law Amid Parties' Vehement Objections

    After Egyptians successfully overthrew Hosni Mubarak back in February, the military government which took over in the interim has pursued a difficult transition to democratic rule. Parliamentary elections are scheduled to take place in September, and political parties and citizens alike have been very vocal about how they will be conducted -with one key conflict being the democratic opposition seeking a fully proportional representation voting system and the caretaker government wanting to keep half of seats elected by winner-take-all elections.

  • Iowa's Laudable Redistricting Process - and the Super District Alternative

    Iowa quite justifiably has earned much praise for its redistricting process, a largely independent one driven by criteria that doesn’t include protection of incumbents or partisan gain. Nevertheless, a review of its elections and this year’s debate about redistricting still highlight the value of forms of proportional voting in a “super district” that puts voters in control of their representation rather than those drawing winner-take-all election lines, however independently those lines may be drawn.

  • FairVote's Redistricting Resources

    With the completion of the 2010 Census, state legislatures are now in the process of the decennial redrawing of congressional, state, and local electoral districts. The process of creating new boundary lines is highly partisan and often comes at the expense of voters. By gerrymandering districts, legislators and their political allies use redistricting to choose their voters instead of giving voters the opportunity to choose them. FairVote provides a number of resources and reports about the redistricting process, and potential improvements to the current system.


  • AMPAS Modifies Best Picture Nomination Method, Maintains Proportional Voting Principles

    The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has a long history of using innovative voting methods to select the nominees and winners of its annual Academy Award "Oscars". This month it  announced changes in the way nominations for the sought-after Best Picture award will be determined. The Academy announced that, beginning next year, a modified system similar to choice voting will be used to select Best Picture nominees, with choice voting continued to be used to select five nominees in most other categories. It also announced that ranked choice voting (RCV, or "instant runoff voting" or "preferential voitng") willl continue to be used for the final vote for Best Picture.

  • Egypt Inching its way down to Democracy

    Although the Arab Spring movement started in Tunisia, as I discussed earlier this week, the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt was the year’s most stunning development. As the most influential and populous nation in the Arab world, Egypt, both in times of war and peace, has often played a leadership role in the region. The political changes happening in Egypt will certainly reverberate strongly in the region. Now it is turning to the even-harder task of establishing an enduring democracy, which if successful, will set a standard for its neighbors.

  • What We Can Learn from Puerto Rico

    Yesterday, President Obama made a historic visit to the American territory of Puerto Rico; the first time a U.S president visited the island for an official state visit since JFK in 1961. Despite the fact that residents of Puerto Rico are U.S citizens and serve in the U.S. military in high percentages, they cannot vote in presidential general elections. President Obama’s visit to Puerto Rico provides an opportunity to consider its non-winner-take-all electoral rules that contribute to high turnout -- merit more national attention.

  • Choice Voting the Best Way to Bring People together in D.C. Redistricting

    A redistricting map that avoids dividing communities and transgressing natural barriers has eluded Washington, D.C. By most accounts, a truly fair and agreeable plan of single-member districts is impossible due to uneven population growth among the District's wards. Proportional voting presents the best option for assuring fair representation to all residents -- not only in D.C. but in cities and counties across the country.