Content Categorized with "All Reports"
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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: Fair Voting/Proportional Representation, Home, Redistricting, Monopoly Politics 2012 Map, 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: National Popular Vote, Research & Analysis, 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: 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: Universal Voter Registration, Home, 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.
FairVote's April 2011 report by Rob Richie and Emily Hellman examines statewide election recount outcomes and practices in the United States, using data from the decade of elections taking place in the years 2000 to 2009 to determine how often they occur, how often they change outcomes, how much vote totals change and how these figures vary with the size of the electorate.
On Tuesday, December 21, the U.S. Census released the official population numbers for states from its count earlier this year. The most immediate impact will be on apportionment of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. In this installment of FairVote's Innovative Analysis series, Rob Richie explains how some pundits and journalists have gotten it wrong in their analysis of the partisan impact of the census numbers.
The Board of Supervisors race in District 10 was an unprecedented race in San Francisco’s seven-year history of using ranked choice voting (the first RCV elections took place in 2004). It featured 21 candidates, no incumbent and no obvious front runners. That resulted in an election in which the winning candidate, Malia Cohen, barely edged out the competition in an exceptionally close race.Given the parameters of this race, RCV functioned smoothly to produce a winner that was preferred by the most voters. It fostered a degree of coalition-building as candidates and voters used the ranked ballots effectively, and unlike other races this race was substantially free of negative, mudslinging attacks as the multi-candidate field focused on seeking the second and third rankings from the supporters of other candidates.