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The Maryland state senate today passed a proposed map for congressional redistricting that has been highly controversial for its gerrymandered district lines and disputes involving partisanship and race. State Senator Jamie Raskin, a constitutional law professor and former FairVote board member, made a well-received floor speech arguing that the best way to address the problem in the future was to put voters in charge over their representation. Raskin shared FairVote's plan for fair voting in super-districts with three and five members that would lead to nearly every voter being able to elect a favorite candidate.FairVote is drawing such plans for all states in the nation. They could be established for congressional elections by repealing a 1967 law requiring winner-take-all districts.* Baltimore Sun on Sen. Raskin's speech* The congressional map as passed state senate* Commentary from FairVote's Rob Richie and Krist Novoselic
- Posted: October 5, 2011
- Categories: National Popular Vote
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
- Posted: September 29, 2011
- Categories: Ranked Choice Voting in Bay Area Elections, Ranked Choice Voting, Home
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.
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.
- Posted: August 8, 2011
- Categories: National Popular Vote, Fair Voting/Proportional Representation, Home
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.
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.
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.
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
- Posted: June 16, 2011
- Categories: Ranked Choice Voting
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.