Content Categorized with "All Reports"
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As we’ve shown at FairVote in study after study, the great majority of people and states are ignored during the election for our country’s highest office. But in the 2012 election, every state was invested at least in one way – they all had residents who donated to and financed the two major party candidates’ campaigns. However, when it came down to the stretch run, the candidates did not reciprocate this national effort. Instead, candidates concentrated their efforts in a small number of states and left the others as net exporters campaign contributions relative to campaign spending. This report takes a state-by-state look at the data.
- Posted: October 25, 2012
- Author(s): Drew Spencer
- Categories: Instant Runoff Voting, Home, All Reports
The Top Two primary system has drawn increasing attention as a way to reform our elections. Rather than have parties nominate candidates who then face off in a general election, it establishes two rounds of voting: the first a "preliminary" to reduce the field to two candidates and the second a final runoff between the top two finishers. Candidates pick their own party label, and that label has no impact on which candidates advance.
Louisiana for years was the only state using a form of the system for both state and federal elections. Washington State started using the system in 2008. California implemented it in 2012, and Arizona voters may adopt it in a November 2012 ballot measure. This report looks at the impact of the Top Two primary in Washington State in the two and a half election cycles in which it has been used. The report focuses on state legislative elections, but also summarizes results to date in congressional and statewide elections.
There are many alternatives to the plurality voting system currently employed in most elections in the United States. Some of those alternative voting methods have the potential to elect a candidate with the most widespread support, as opposed to plurality voting which may elect a candidate whom the majority of the electorate voted against. Given their potential for a positive impact on voter choice, it is important to analyze the legal and practical viability of those alternatives.
- Posted: January 3, 2012
- Author(s): Sheahan Virgin, Fair Voting Plans
- Categories: Home, The Fair Voting Solution for U.S. House Elections, Fair Voting/Proportional Representation, Redistricting, All Reports
Though spared the controversies of congressional redistricting, winner-take-all rules still plague the seven at-large states (Alaska, Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming). Nowhere are the shortcomings of our voting system more acute than in at-large winner-take-all races, where one individual is - rather astonishingly - responsible for representing the political and demographic diversity of an entire state. Read our latest critique of winner-take-all elections and our analysis of congressional elections in these at-large states.
This report traces the history of the Voting Rights Act, from its origins in 1965 through its opposition and its continued renewal. Specifically, the report details how Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act requires those states covered under Section 5 to preclear all proposed voting changes, including redistricting efforts, with the Department of Justice before their enactment. The advent of the Voting Rights Act, specifically Section 5, has been instrumental in preventing states from making changes which could potentially discriminate against racial and ethnic minorities. Throughout the history of Section 5 cases before the Supreme Court, the Court has yet to rule Section 5 is invalid.
- Posted: September 16, 2011
- Author(s): Monideepa Talukdar, Robert Richie, and Ryan O'Donnell
- Categories: Research & Analysis, National Popular Vote, FairVote, All Reports
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.
- Posted: August 10, 2011
- Author(s): Katherine Sicienski, Rob Richie, Will Hix
- Categories: Instant Runoff Voting, All Reports
Many states currently use runoff election systems during primaries for statewide federal posts. However, it appears that the two election runoff system leads to high turnout declines and a less representative second election.
- Posted: June 16, 2011
- Author(s): Patrick Withers, Billy Organek
- Categories: Research & Analysis, All Reports
FairVote's most recent review of redistricting reform in the states in 2009-2010 presents a mix of optimism and frustration for supporters of redistricting in the public interest rather than in the best interest of the political duopoly.
- Posted: June 14, 2011
- Author(s): Jo McKeegan
- Categories: Home, Universal Voter Registration, FairVote, All Reports
“The right of citizens of the United States, who are eighteen years of age or older, to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of age.” While the language of the 26th amendment is intended to serve young people well, it still leaves open a loophole in Constitutional law- while young people cannot be discriminated against based on their age, they can be denied the chance to vote, or have their ability to vote abridged, for reasons that can also undercut voting rights for older citizens.
The number of swing states (generously defined as ones projected to be won by 9% or less in a year in which the major parties candidates split the national popular vote) has dropped sharply since 1988, especially among our nation's largest and smallest states. In 2008, only one of the 13 smallest states and only 4 of the 27 smallest states were swing states. This trend shows no indication of changing, with all trends pointing to wider division.