Content Categorized with "Research & Analysis"

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  • 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.

  • The End of the Election Assistance Commission?

    The future of the Election Assistance Commission, an independent bipartisan government agency tasked with making elections fair and accessible, is in question. Amid the intense debate in Washington over government spending, this small agency could be terminated, some of its tasks being relegated to the Federal Elections Commission, in order to save the taxpayers $14 million a year. In the United State House of Representatives, H.R. 672, a bill introduced by Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS), seeks to terminate the EAC. The bill has made it through the Committee on House Administration along party lines, and will now move to the House for a vote. 

  • Dubious Democracy 1982-2010

    Dubious Democracy 1982-2010 provides a comprehensive assessment of the level of competition and accuracy of representation in U.S. House elections in all 50 states from 1982 to 2010. It ranks each state on a "democracy index" that is a relative measurement based on average margin of victory, percentage of seats to votes, how many voters elect candidates and number of House races won by overwhelming landslides.

  • Everything You Wanted to Know about Election Recounts 

    The Center for Voting and Democracy today released its new report on statewide recounts as the state of Wisconsin launches a statewide recount in a hotly contested election for a seat on its state supreme court. A Survey and Analysis of Statewide Election Recounts, 2000-2009 is available online, along with detailed data compiled for the report. Read on to see the key findings from the report.

  • Internet voting: If ever made secure, would it improve election turnout?

    The phenomenon of low voter turnout is not new but has become worrisome by its recurrence. In the United States voters are turning out in smaller numbers each year in certain elections like primaries and choosing city leaders. With the advent of new technological means of communication be a means to fight against the disaffection toward politics so many Americans seem to feel? Some like internet voting, but it's not ready for governmental elections.

  • Redistricting heats up - and FairVote shows better way

    In all 50 states, elected officials at some level of government are feverishly engaged in the remarkable exercise of choosing their voters before their voters choose them. Nearly every U.S. House map and the great majority of state legislative maps will be redrawn by partisans, usually with the goal of protecting incumbents, helping friends and hurting political enemies.

  • House Seat Apportionment: Media Gets It Wrong on Partisan Impact

    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.

  • Understanding the RCV Election Results in District 10

    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.
  • Non-Majority Winners and "Spoilers" in Election 2010

    Election Day brought big changes this year. Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives decisively, while the Democratic Party narrowly held onto the U.S. Senate. With a majority of the nation’s governors being elected, Republicans made key gains. While the media’s narrative will undoubtedly focus on the winners and losers, our Non-Majority Rule desk will zero in on how plurality voting rules skewed and distorted several elections – and led to some underhanded campaign tactics.

  • Federal Redistricting BIlls in 111th Congress

    Redistricting: a popular issue in the 111th Congress.