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  • "Arab Spring": Adoption of proportional representation key goal for reformers

    The first months of 2011 will go down in history for the remarkable "Arab Spring" movement for democracy. Nonviolent protests by young men and women have led to a string of dictatorial regimes falling or are tottering, including Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen. Protests have been grounded in a basic drive for democracy and freedom, but as nations turn toward having their first truly democratic elections, the details of how to run fair elections are of immense importance.

     

     

     

  • Instant runoff progress from Hawaii to Maine

    Instant runoff voting (IRV), the ranked choice voting system that upholds majority rule in multi-candidate races, keeps advancing. The Hawaii House of Representatives this week unanimously passed legislation to use IRV in county elections that currently are decided by plurality voting in the wake of controversial, low-plurality victories. Across the nation, the League of Women Voters of Maine, after a multi-year study, endorsed IRV election of candidates in single seat races. Meanwhile, we will see IRV races this year in cities like St. Paul (MN), Telluride (CO), Portland, ME) and San Francisco (CA). The Associated Press this week featured the role of IRV in the wide-open San Francisco race for mayor.

  • National Popular Vote plan: Advances mark 5-year anniversary

     

    Five years ago, on Feb. 23, 2011, FairVote's Rob Richie and John Anderson joined other founders of the National Popular Vote plan for presidential elections for a National Press Club news conference announcing the proposal. Since then, six states (and Washington, D.C) have adopted the plan and nearly a third of state legislative chambers have passed it. More than 2,000 state legislators have voted for it or sponsored it in their states.

     

  • Oscar Stars Back UK's Referendum on IRV

    The British have a chance to reject their U.S.-style electoral system in favor of instant runoff voting (called "the alternative vote", or AV in the United Kingdom). Legislation to establish a May 5th national referendum cleared parliament this week, and polls show IRV can win. Britain has had a large rise in third party voting in recent decades, and IRV is a sensible step toward better accommodating voter choice and avoiding the "spoiler" controversy.

  • Gerrymander 2011: Resources and Reform

    States and localities are starting to receive the U.S. Census data  they will use to redraw legislative districts in the coming year. Unfortunately, our nation's reliance upon winner-take-all elections and on single member districts for Congressional elections without national standards has left our voting process open to partisan gerrymandering. Legislators and their political allies quite literally choose their voters before voters choose them. But reformers are active in the states, and there’s legislation in Congress. Here are key resources.

  • Choice voting at the Oscars; Nate Silver explains IRV for Best Picture

     

    America's most successful awards show -- and often the most-watched television program in the world-- is the Academy of Motion Pictures' annual Oscar awards. For more than a half century, nominations have been selected with the choice voting method of proportional voting that FairVote recommends for legislative elections. Starting last year, instant runoff voting is used to select Best Picture from among ten nominees.

     

  • FairVote's Year in Reform: Progress on All Fronts

    FairVote’s reform ideas had  key victories in 2010,  and, when used, made a real difference. We ask for your support in continuing our work!

  • Election 2010 and Ranked Choice Voting

    Election 2010 was a remarkable one for the instant runoff voting form of ranked choice voting (RCV). This first use was a major facor in the first-ever election of an Asian American woman to be mayor of a major American city. PBS Evening News Hour with Jim Lehrer profiles the Oakland election with ranked choice voting -- see the program here.

     

  • FairVote on Election 2010

    Some 40% of eligible voters are expected at the polls for this election. FairVote is closely tracking its reform priorities, such as a first-ever statewide general election with instant runoff voting (also known as ranked-choice voting) in North Carolina, but also provides a range of perspectives and information through its blog and twitter accounts. We're also pleased to see support for our reforms from the likes of former Vermont governor Howard Dean.

  • Discovering Better Ways of Voting

    Americans continue to improve their democracy. New contributions include ideas on changing traditional, "vote for one", winner-take-all elections. North Carolina and cities like Oakland (CA) are using instant runoff voting this November. A new movie on Gerrymandering highlights problems with the status quo and suggests proportional voting as a long-term solution.