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On June 20, 1992, former Cincinnati mayor and longtime proportional representation champion Theodore Berry welcomed reformers from around the country to his city for the founding convention of FairVote.On June 21st, the first Board was elected, Rob Richie chosen to be director and Matthew Cossolotto to be chair. 1980 presidential candidate John B. Anderson agreed to chair the advisory board and had an oped in the New York Times proposing instant runoff voting. In 2002, we summarized our first decade, and we highlight 2011 progress here.FairVote will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a series of events and featured reports, starting with an early July report contrasting gerrymandered single-member congressional elections with fair voting plans. Stay tuned!
- Posted: June 21, 2012
- Categories: Home
- Posted: April 13, 2012
- Categories: National Popular Vote, Fair Voting/Proportional Representation, Home
Winner-take-all elections box voters into simplistic red and blue divisions that poorly reflect our diversity of views. They turn most state legislative and congressional elections into "no-choice" contests. Only a handful of swing states will get attention from presidential candidates.To take on winner-take-all, FairVote backs forms of proportional representation for electing legislatures and a national popular vote for president instead of state-based winner-take-all rules.* Most robust democracies use proportional representation, NOT winner-take-all. See more here.* FairVote Chair Emeritus John Anderson's new op-ed in Chicago Tribune on cumulative voting* FairVote's resources on a national popular vote for president
With the presidential nomination season in full swing, FairVote has commentary and analysis that looks at the primary process through different lenses and proposes reforms to make them more representative, grounded in our belief that winner-take-all rules exclude voters.
FairVote: Media Gets it Wrong on Winner-Take-All
Seattle Times commentary based on Paul vs. Paul analysis
U.S. News: Rob Richie advocates for a national primary
Six Takes on the Republican Nomination Contest
Remember Young People in Maryland’s Primary
Voting Rights Lessons from Puerto Rico’s Primary
- Posted: February 13, 2012
- Categories: Ranked Choice Voting/Instant Runoff Voting, Presidential Elections, National Popular Vote, Universal Voter Registration, Home
On February 12th, FairVote executive director Rob Richie was a guest on CSPAN television's Washington Journal, aired live around the nation. That day he also had the first and final letters in the New York Times' "Invitation to Dialogue" series on voting reform. FairVote staff and interns have been publishing many articles in 2012.
Rob Richie on CSPAN
- Posted: January 20, 2012
- Categories: Home
FairVote has been analyzing and commenting on elections in general and presidential primaries in particular for two decades. This year FairVote has assembled key resources to understand this year’s nomination contests, with regular analysis on its blog and in published commentary. Don't miss these new reports and commentaries.
Open, closed and mixed primariers, state-by-state This report details who is allowed to vote in every state holding a presidential or congressional primary this year.
South Carolina Primary: One Candidate May Easily Win All Delegates By Rob Richie and Elise Helgesen
South Carolina Voters Better Enjoy it While it Lasts by Katie Kelly and Rob Richie
- Posted: January 12, 2012
- Categories: Ranked Choice Voting/Instant Runoff Voting
The Republican Party in Utah used Instant Runoff Voting this week to elect a replacement for a state senate vacancy in a seven-candidate race. Indeed about a half dozen current Republican state lawmakers first won office in a similar way. In 2004, the state convention used IRV when former governor Jon Huntsman was first nominated.
Account of this week's election
Round by Round results from Davis County Republican Party
Article about past use of IRV to fill 2009 vacancy
Articles & analysis of 2002 & 2004 state conventions using IRV
Article on Utah testimony on adopting IRV for state offices
- Posted: January 6, 2012
- Categories: Home
Presidential nomination season is upon us, despite the general election still being 11 months away. Check out FairVote’s commentary about the Iowa caucus and stay tuned throughout the next months for our commentary about the nomination process and ways to improve it.
The Role of Proportional Representation in New Hampshire by Rob Richie and Elise Helgesen
Understanding how the Iowa Caucuses Work—And Don’t Work by Rob Richie
FairVote in The Nation on Electoral Dysfunction
On NPR about earlier Florida primary
Our site FixThePrimaries.com
Iowa recount?: Check out FairVote's 2010 report on statewide recount
- Posted: December 16, 2011
- Categories: Home
FairVote offers compelling reforms designed to embrace the beauty and power of people coming together for the common good. For us, fair elections demand real choices no matter where you live. Real representation means being able to join with like-minded people to elect candidates in proportion to your voting strength. Democracy rests on your ongoing participation.
We're proud of our 2011 and eager for what 2012 will bring. Please peruse our blog, our research reportsand our other resources. For those ready to help realize our vision, we ask that you consider a charitable contribution. Thank you!
- Posted: November 11, 2011
- Categories: Home
Many Americans had a chance to vote in state and local elections on November 8. FairVote was particularly focused on the first-ever use of ranked choice voting (RCV) in Maine's biggest city of Portland, along with RCV elections in St. Paul (MN), San Francisco (CA), Cambridge (MA), Telluride (CO) and Takoma Park (MD). The news from these elections was extremely promising for reform advocates. Voters and election officials handled the system well, and more than two candidates were able to run without talk of "spoilers."
We remain concerned about voter turnout decline in many elections and low numbers of contested races. We see winner-take-all rules as increasingly locking voters into one-party, no-contest boxes. Fair voting methods of proportional voting are necessary to provide meaningful choices and fair representation in our legislative elections.
Here are links:
- Portland: TV (Ranked Choice Voting a Success) & Press-Herald:(Ranked Choice Voting a Winner)
- FairVote's Portland Spotlight & Dorothy Does Democracy
- San Francisco: SFBetterElections.com & SF Voters Effectively Used Ranked Choice Voting
- Visuals for 2011 RCV Election Results: Round-by-Round Breakdown
- FairVote Minnesota on St. Paul: Ranked Choice Voting a Winner
- News Coverage of Telluride Mayoral Race: RCV works
- Elise Helgesen on Choice Voting Elections in Cambridge
- Christina Grier on Voter Turnout in 2011
- Rob Richie and Jamie Raskin on Fair Voting Plan for Maryland
- Virginia State Legislative Elections: Update to Dubious Democracy
- Posted: November 4, 2011
- Categories: Ranked Choice Voting in Bay Area Elections, Ranked Choice Voting/Instant Runoff Voting, Home
Ranked choice choice voting (RCV, or instant runoff) accommodates voters having more than two choices at the polls. This month, San Francisco (CA) will elect a mayor and two other citywide leaders with RCV. Portland (ME) and Telluride (CO) will elect mayors in hotly contested RCV races, and St. Paul (MN) and Takoma Park (MD) will elect city councilors with RCV. In Ireland, Michael Higgins was elected president with RCV, breaking out of a 7-candidate field for a landslide win thanks to a combination of strong first choice rankings and backup preferences from supporters of losing candidates. Cambridge (MA) will use the choice voting form of RCV that provides fair representation to its voters.
FairVote has been deeply involved in many of these implementations and will be tracking elections closely next week. Although controversial with some, RCV is working well -- and has strong backing from almost all mayoral candidates in both Portland and San Francisco. For more on the races, see:
- RCV in San Francisco: New opeds by Matt Gonzalez & Steven Hill
- Portland: Our Portlandvotes123.com, TV local news story and FairVote voter survey
- Coverage in Freakonomics
- Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio & Economist on San Francisco
- Associated Press on Portland
- Cambridge: Candidates for school board & city council
- Rob Richie blogs on Irish presidential election
- St. Paul elections: Voter education site & Star-Tribune commentary