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  • FairVote Testimony on Electoral College Reform in Pennsylvania

    On October 4, 2011, FairVote submitted a written testimony to the Pennsylvania Senate's 'State Government Committee' for the public hearing on electoral reform of whether or not to allocate the state's electoral votes based on congressional district outcomes. 

    FairVote strongly opposes the proposed legislation. When adopted in all states, the congressional district system takes us farther from the goal of ensuring that the winner of the national popular vote is elected president. When adopted in Pennsylvania alone, it takes us farther from the goal of ensuring that the winner of Pennsylvania's statewide popular vote wins most of the state's electoral votes.

    And, make sure to see Rob Richie's Nation magazine commentary on the Pennsylvania controversy

    Download FairVote Testimony of Electoral College Reform in Pennsylvania

     

     

     

     

  • Ranked Choice Voting in Action

    Ranked choice voting or instant runoff voting ensures that the candidate that wins an election wins the majority of the vote. Voters will use ranked choice voting this fall in several exciting races: wide-open elections for mayor in San Francisco (CA) and Portland (ME); the presidential race in Ireland; and for other city races in the U.S., including St. Paul (MN). New voter education initiatives are helping show how easy ranked choice voting is for voters, and there have been excellent media stories.

     

  • Winner-take-all machinations in Pennsylvania

    FairVote for years has documented the broken nature of the current Electoral College system, including presidential candidates in general elections focusing solely on a dwindling number of winner-take-all swing states and partisans bending electoral rules to try to win those states. Now it's getting worse, with Republican leaders newly in charge of Pennsylvania backing a plan that likely would give a majority of that state's 2012 electoral votes to a candidate who lost the state's popular vote -- just as North Carolina Democrats nearly did in 2001.

  • California Win for National Popular Vote: FairVote Reforms on the Move

    California Governor Jerry Brown today signed the National Popular Vote plan for president. Five years after FairVote joined with other reformers to launch the effort, it is halfway to enactment. It is law in states representing 49% of the electoral votes necessary to govern the next presidential election.

       

       

    • Big Rhode Island win for better voting & IRV

      On July 13th, Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee signed H 6176 into law. Introduced on May 19th with the backing of FairVote Rhode Island, the bill passed the state Senate 35-2 and  House 70-0. It establishes a voter choice study commission charged with studying ranked choice voting (RCV, or "instant runoff voting) and other options designed to increase voter participation and accountability, uphold majority rule and produce fiscal savings. The commission will issue a report by January 2012. A report by a similar commission in Colorado in 2007 led to a 2008 law allowing all localities to use RCV.

      Rhode Island has a history of electing candidates with only plurality support, including the 2010 governor's race won with 36%. RCV would avoid "spoiler" dynamics in such election.

      Additional Links:

    • National Popular Vote: Halfway to Victory with California Win

      On July 14, the California State Senate voted 23-15 in favor of the National Popular Vote bill. Last month it passed the California State Assembly by 51-21 margin and now goes to Governor Jerry Brown for approval. With his signature, California will become the eighth state (joined by DC) to enact the National Popular Vote plan. 

    • Tracking and Reforming Redistricting

      The process of redistricting is highly partisan and often comes at the expense of voters. FairVote has developed a number of new resources regarding redistricting, including:

      • Glossary - An A to Z guide to terms and definitions
      • Litigation - A summary of ongoing lawsuits to redistricting plans and procedures throughout the country
      • Reform Legislation - A report on proposed laws in all fifty states to improve redistricting processes
      • Resource List - A guide and review of the best redistricting resources from around the web
      • News - A compilation of tweets to news stories and opinion by state
      • Alternative Approaches - Drawings of proposed "super districts" for all states used for proportional voting systems
      • Additional Links - FairVote also contributes to Endgerrymandering.com and tweets current redistricting news

       

    • Oscars Modify Nomination Process, Keep Proportional Representation and IRV

      The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which has a long history of using innovative voting methods to select the winners of its annual Academy Awards, recently announced some changes in the way nominations for the sought-after Best Picture award will be determined. The organization announced Tuesday that, beginning next year, a modified system similar to choice voting will be used to select Best Picture nominees.

    • Fixing Broken Presidential Elections with "NPV"

      First detailed in FairVote's 2006 Presidential Elections Inequality report, current state laws allocating electoral votes have a perverse impact on equality in our republic. As a result of our electoral system, the number of competitive states has also dropped recently, indicating that Presidents don't reach out to as many states as before. At the same time, we have a reform available for action: the National Popular Vote plan, which has chalked up new state wins.

    • California Democracy Dreaming

      California's tradition of pace-setting changes in the United States bodes well for reformers. Instant runoff voting (IRV, ranked choice voting) gained more validation in the Bay Area, with a definitive federal court ruling unanimously upholding its legality in San Francisco and a broadly supported "Champion of Democracy" event in in Oakland. The National Popular Vote plan for president earned an easy win in the Assembly and should reach Gov. Jerry Brown's desk this year. The legislature also advanced sensible changes to increase secure access to voting.