E-Newsletter March 2, 2005

Released March 2, 2005
FairVote: Februrary E-News

FairVote – The Center for Voting and Democracy seeks elections that promote participation, fair representation and meaningful choices. In this month’s e-newsletter, we provide our usual mix of news, analysis and statistic. For February’s Black History month we highlight how our reform proposals have empowered African Americans.

THE BIG NEWS

·        Vermont’s largest city Burlington yesterday adopted instant runoff voting for future mayoral elections by a landslide margin.

·        Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. this week expects to introduce constitutional amendments to establish a right to vote in the U.S. Constitution (HJ Res. 28) and to abolish the Electoral College and elect the president by a national majority vote (HJ Res. 36). The voting rights amendment will have at least 53 original co-sponsors.

·        The power of full representation methods to increase voter choice and fair representation drew welcome attention in a New York Times op-ed by Steven Hill on redistricting – a timely topic as Georgia moves to “re-gerrymander” congressional districts and California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger backs an initiative to enact nonpartisan redistricting before the 2006 elections.

HIGHLIGHTED NEW WEB POSTINGS

·        FairVote’s proposals for electoral reform in state legislatures
http://archive.fairvote.org/articles/10legislativeproposals.htm

·        FairVote’s reports on implementing instant runoff voting in San Francisco
http://archive.fairvote.org/articles/sanfranciscoIRVreport.htm

·        FairVote’s report on the potential for minority rule in Congress
http://archive.fairvote.org/library/geog/congress/minorityrule2004.htm

·        FairVote’s response to California redistricting proposals http://archive.fairvote.org/redistricting/arnoldplan.htm

THIS MONTH’S CONTENTS

Political Empowerment Program

·        Spotlight: Full representation and its legacy of better representation

·        Schwarzenegger and nonpartisan redistricting: The case for full representation makes the New York Times and major attention in insider debates in California

From the Research Center: Women and nonpartisan redistricting; a 50-50 nation in state legislatures; minority rule in Congress

·        Reuters profiles board member Krist Novoselic’s support for fair elections

·        Follow-up: Iraq’s full representation elections

·        Choice Voting in action: UC-Davis student elections

Right to Vote Initiative


·        Spotlight: History of African Americans and the vote

·        HJ Resolution 28 to be introduced with at least 53 Co-Sponsors

·        Legislative update: Congressional reform bills, key win in Illinois, more

·        New report recommends research into universal registration

·        Secretary of State resolution draws reformers’ attention to key office

IRV America


·        Spotlight: How IRV helped elect Ann Arbor’s first black mayor

·        Another landslide win: Burlington (VT) adopts IRV for mayoral elections

·        State legislation: 14 states with IRV bills

·        Upcoming runoff in Los Angeles shows value of IRV

From the Research Center: Runoffs and voter turnout

·        San Francisco’s IRV story: Analysis and C.S. Monitor commentary

·        Follow-up: North Carolina roundtables draw major interest in IRV


POLITICAL EMPOWERMENT PROGRAM
http://archive.fairvote.org/pr

Our antiquated winner-take-all model of elections denies many voters their right to real choices and a seat at the table of government. In order for more people to be engaged in choosing our leaders, we need to ensure not only that every vote counts, but that everyone’s vote matters. Government should mirror America – our hopes, our dreams, and our values of fairness and inclusion. America needs systems of full representation that award power in proportion to everyone’s choice and fairly represent women, people of color and political minorities. Help work for full representation as we build on a history of cities and states using choice voting, cumulative voting and limited voting.

Spotlight: Full representation and its legacy of better representation

FairVote would like to recognize the accomplishments of African American elected officials, and the legacy of better representation for American communities of color provided by full representation voting systems. Here is the story of Bobby Agee, who was first elected to the Chilton County commission by a full representation voting method in 1988.

"When I grew up," Agee says, "anybody that was in any authority was white. It was frustrating. We'd get a white politician that would come in and promise everything, and then when they won, they didn't know you." In 1988, with the help of cumulative voting introduced in that election, Agee became the first African American elected to the commission. He has consistently won re-election, and served as chair of the commission several times, always responsive to his African American constituents who make up a little over 10% of county voters.

The adoption of cumulative voting in Chilton County revolutionized who could participate in government.  Before 1988, no black candidate had ever been elected to the County Commission. He remarks: "Quite naturally I'm the minority representative on that board. Quite naturally I'm going to look out for the best interest of . . . everybody, but I'm going to make sure that the minority interest is very well taken care of on that board. And I'm sure the various people from the various areas that they live in feel the same way."

John Hollis Jackson, the county attorney agrees that Agee’s election has been a positive step for Chilton’s black residents: “Naturally when a problem comes up to the County Commission, if you have a black man sitting there as an elected member, a black woman, whatever, they're going to understand a problem from a racial perspective that a white man or a white woman who doesn't have any experience, they just won't be able to recognize it, so it makes a difference, it really makes a difference.”

* For more information on cumulative voting in Chilton County, visit http://archive.fairvote.org/cumulative/alcumulative04.htm

* To read the source text for Bobby Agee’s quotes, visit http://archive.fairvote.org/cumulative/chicagolegalforum.txt

* For information on how the choice voting method of full representation consistently boosts representation of people of color in American elections, see:

http://archive.fairvote.org/choice/index.html - choice voting homepage
http://archive.fairvote.org/vra/cincinnati.htm -- choice voting in Cincinnati (OH)
http://archive.fairvote.org/vra/cambridge.htm -- choice voting in Cambridge (MA)

Redistricting in California, Round One: Schwarzenegger vs. Hill

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's plan to replace the state's partisan gerrymandering system with an independent redistricting commission is drawing increasing attention – and expect more, as just yesterday he announced support for a ballot measure in a special election this fall to enact changes before the 2006 elections.

FairVote has sought to highlight beneficial elements of the plan, as well as ways to improve upon it. While we applaud the governor for highlighting no-choice elections in California and agree that self-interested partisans should not be able to control the process to benefit themselves and their friends, we are concerned that people are rushing to specific reform approaches without a full understanding of the impact of different options. We believe, for example, that any comprehensive effort to provide voters with real choices and fair representation must involve use of a full representation voting method. No redistricting plan will come close to full representation plans in providing electoral competition, allowing political maps to be different shades of purple rather than red and blue and providing fair representation for women and racial minorities.

Seeking a new district plan before 2006 – called “mid-decennial” redistricting – also has the potential to trigger partisan chaos in different states that pursue it for different reasons. Just this week, the Republican leadership in the Georgia legislature has exerted their new power in Georgia by moving to adopt a new map for congressional districts – a highly partisan move first pursued in Texas in 2003 with dramatic political impact. Some Democrats want their party to retaliate in states that they control, and we could get to where parties coming to power in legislatures regularly change districts for partisan advantage. This specter suggests that ultimately we must turn the power of determining representation to voters through full representation voting methods rather than trusting political elites to fairly determine representation through winner-take-all redistricting.

FairVote’s former senior analyst Steven Hill – now a fellow with the New America Foundation – has been leading the charge in California for looking at full representation, with powerful commentaries in the Sacramento Bee calling for a citizen’s assembly to select the best way to tackle no-choice elections and in the New York Times on the limitations of nonpartisan redistricting. He also was featured speaker at a high-profile event where Gov. Schwarzenegger also spoke.

For more on redistricting and fair representation, see:
http://archive.fairvote.org/redistricting/arnoldplan.htm -- FairVote analysis of California
http://archive.fairvote.org/pr/super/2004/ -- examples of how full representation plans might work for congressional elections in states around the nation
http://archive.fairvote.org/pr/global/bcgetsstv.htm -- information on British Columbia’s use of a citizen’s assembly to determine the best way to draw districts
http://archive.fairvote.org/commentary/arnoldnyt.htm -- Steven Hill’s NY Times op-ed
http://www.fixour.us -- Krist Novoselic’s account of Steven Hill’s recent speech before leading California political leaders

Facts in Focus from the Voting and Democracy Research Center:

Did Nonpartisan Redistricting Hurt Women in Arizona and Iowa?

Redistricting receives much attention for its impact on representation of racial minorities and competitiveness of districts. However, most of these discussions fail to discuss the impact of redistricting on women’s representation in government. Full representation voting methods without doubt would boost women more than any different method of drawing districts, but data from Arizona and Iowa – the two leading examples of states with nonpartisan, criteria-driven redistricting – suggest that, at least under their current criteria, women may actually be hurt by nonpartisan redistricting.

Iowa today is below the national median average on women in their state legislature. Indeed Iowa has been behind the median in every election since adopting nonpartisan redistricting going into 1982. However, before the 1982 election – the first after nonpartisan redistricting -- Iowa was AHEAD of the national median; in 1979 and 1981, the state was ranked 17th and 18th in the nation, respectively. The percentage of Iowa women legislators decreased in 1982. In 1992, after the next redistricting, women again did relatively poorly in Iowa – dropping from 32nd in the nation down to 37th. In 2002, after the 2001 redistricting, Iowa women lost four senate seats and three house seats.

Meanwhile, Arizona voters adopted their nonpartisan redistricting process in a ballot measure in 2000 and it was used going into the 2002 elections. The state went from being at the top of the national charts (ranking either 2nd or 3rd after state elections in 1996, 1998 and 2000 – almost certainly boosted by the state’s use of two-seat state assembly districts) to 13th in 2002, when representation of women plunged by 8%.

These numbers are not definitive about the impact of nonpartisan redistricting on representation of women. But it does show that some values – increased competition in election, for example – may not address other values, such as fair representation. That balance without doubt can be better provided by full representation voting methods.

For more statistics on representation of women in Iowa, see:
http://www.cawp.rutgers.edu/Facts/StbySt/IA.html

Facts in Focus from the Voting and Democracy Research Center

The Potential For Minority Rule in Congress

The U.S. House of Representatives has 435 House Members, each elected from a one-seat district for a two-year term. A new report from FairVote indicates that a bill could receive a majority of 218 votes in the House from legislators who received less than 27% of the votes from those at the polls in November 2004. A bill could pass with the votes of 218 Republicans whose total share of the vote was barely 32%. Even more disturbingly, a bill could receive a majority of 51 votes in the Senate from Senator who received only 10% of all votes cast in U.S. Senate races in 2000, 2002 and 2004. Seehttp://archive.fairvote.org/library/geog/congress/minorityrule2004.htm

Facts in Focus from the Voting and Democracy Research Center

Nationwide, Legislatures in Partisan Dead Heat

The recently decided election in which New York state senator Nicholas Spano (R) fended off his Democratic opponent by 18 votes was a reflection of the state of our 50-50 nation: Spano is the tiebreaker in a nationwide count of Republican and Democratic state legislatures. Republicans now hold 3,657 state legislative seats, just one more than Democrats, down from a 64-seat edge last year. See: “New York: Blue and Getting Bluer” (http://archive.fairvote.org/articles/nytimes02202005.htm)

40th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act

FairVote celebrates the success of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965 in enhancing the representation of communities of color and would like to urge readers to help ensure that the VRA’s Section 5 and language-minority provisions do not expire when up for reauthorization in 2007. Through the VRA, dozens of communities have been able to bring full representation electoral systems into use, and we hope that this tradition continues and expands in the future. For more information on the Voting Rights Act, visit: http://archive.fairvote.org/vra/

Grunge-Rock Pioneer Stumps for Full Representation

FairVote Board member Krist Novoselic works closely with us to promote reform, in the past month testifying before the Washington state legislature, maintaining his excellent blot (www.fixour.us) and speaking at the Washington College of Law and the New America Foundation.  The bass player in Nirvana, Novoselic’s 2004 book Of Grunge and Government makes a powerful case for a “new wave of democracy” through full representation and instant runoff voting. See:

http://archive.fairvote.org/articles/reuters.htm -- Reuters on Novoselic’s reform vision
http://archive.fairvote.org/novoselic/ -- Novoselic’s Of Grunge and Government
http://www.fixour.us -- Novoselic’s reform blog

Iraq’s full representation elections

Most observers saw Iraq's recent elections as far more successful that many had believed possible. Voter turnout was comparable to American turnout in our recent presidential race, candidates representing a wide variety of perspectives were elected and women won historic numbers of seats – a far higher percentage than in the United States. All of these specific successes were made possible by Iraq's use of a form of full representation very different to the winner-take-all election systems currently most common in America. The January 2005 vote in Iraq was carried out on the basis of national party lists. The whole country was treated as a single electoral district, within which voters voted for parties rather than individuals. Seats were then allocated in proportion to parties’ shares of the vote. A further stipulation that every third name on a party's list be a woman ensured a high degree of women's representation. For details of how exactly the vote was counted and a full analysis, see:http://archive.fairvote.org/pr/global/iraqanalysis.htm

U-California-Davis’ fourth choice voting election

The University of California at Davis is one of a number of colleges and universities that have adopted full representation and/or instant runoff voting for their student elections; UC-Davis students adopted choice voting by a lopsided margin in a referendum and have now used it for four elections. For a full account of these elections, showing how choice voting works round by round, and for the related effort to adopt choice voting for city council elections in Davis, see: http://www.davischoicevoting.org/

For more on student elections, see: http://archive.fairvote.org/schools/index.html


RIGHT TO VOTE INITIATIVE
http://archive.fairvote.org/righttovote

Our program mission: Americans revere their democracy, but the Constitution does not guarantee our vote. We have weak national standards to protect our vote, leaving us with a patchwork of electoral procedures and laws. As a direct result, millions of Americans lose their right to vote. As with our other most fundamental citizenship right such as the right to free speech, we need a constitutional guarantee of our right to vote. Help us create an America where everyone is encouraged to vote, no one is denied their right to vote and strong standards ensure the accurate, objective count of every ballot.

Spotlight: History of Voting Rights for African Americans

The struggle for political equality in the United States has gone on for centuries. Indeed, contrary to popular belief, the right of people of color to vote did not begin with the passage of the 15th amendment after the Civil War. Many state constitutions included provisions allowing for free African Americans to vote in the 18th century, but then later rescinded that right. Read program associate Andrew Kirshenbaum’s history of African American voting rights – particularly timely given that this month marks the 40th anniversary of historic marches for voting rights in Selma, Alabama – at: http://archive.fairvote.org/righttovote/blackhistory.htm

HJ Resolution 28 to be Introduced with at least 53 Co-Sponsors

This week Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) expects to introduce H.J. Resolution 28, the proposed amendment to add a right to vote to the U.S. Constitution, with at least 53 co-sponsors in the U.S. House. The voting rights amendment would guarantee that every American citizen of voting age is able to vote and that their will be accurately counted. To get involved in the exciting campaign for a right to vote, both in support of HJ Res. 28 and federal, state and local statutory changes in its spirit, please visit our Right to Vote Initiative program homepage: http://archive.fairvote.org/righttovote/index.htm

Congressman Jackson will also introduce HJ Resolution 36, which would abolish the Electoral College and elect the president by a national majority vote – either by a runoff or by instant runoff voting. Stay tuned to FairVote for more Electoral College reform news in the months ahead.

Congressional Reform Proposals

Several bills have been introduced in Congress with the goal of securing the right to vote. Among them are companion bills by Michigan’s John Conyers in the House and Connecticut’s Christopher Dodd in the Senate, a Senate bill by Nevada’s John Ensign and a Senate bill by Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and Barbara Boxer. The New York Times termed the Clinton bill “the gold standard.” Among its features it would:

    * Require a voter-verified paper trail and recounts in two percent of all polling places or precincts
    * Limit political activity by voting machine manufacturers and state elections officials
    * Make Election Day a national holiday and requires states to allow early voting
    * Requires the Federal Election Assistance Commission to set standards to provide uniform access to voting machines.

FairVote does not back any particular statutory proposal on the right to vote in Congress at this time, but instead focuses on reform principles. For the agenda for FairVote’s right to vote initiative agenda, see: http://archive.fairvote.org/righttovote/reforms/

Expanding the Right to Vote: New 14 Day “Waiting Period” Law in Illinois

In February, Illinois Governor Blagojevich signed the “14-day grace period” bill, effectively extending the time voters have to register by two weeks. Voters can now register up to 14 days before the election. To be eligible to vote in the November 2004 under the old law, election registration was required by Oct. 5 --  the day of the vice-presidential debate and three days before the second of three presidential debates. With the new regulations, the registration deadline would have fallen on Oct. 19, well after the debates, allowing a grace period for would-be voters and potentially increasing voter turnout statewide. Allowing voters more time helps would-be first-time voters and those who move regularly.

Kudos to long-time FairVote mainstay Dan Johnson-Weinberger for his tireless efforts on this issue and other pro-democracy bills before the Illinois legislature. Consider working for reforms in your state, and read more about this effort at, http://www.djw.info and

http://www.suntimesnews.com/2/news_archive/Feb_05/0209blag.htm

Right to Vote Initiative Testimony to Maryland Assembly on Early Voting

Far too many voters have difficulties getting to the polls on Election Day or encounter long lines when they arrive. The Right to Vote Initiative supports efforts to ease access; one proposal is early voting, which already is used in some form in 35 states. Program associate Andrew Kirshenbaum testified to a Maryland legislative hearing on Feb 24.

See his testimony at: http://archive.fairvote.org/righttovote/earlyvotingtestimony.htm

New Report Recommends Research into Universal Registration

The National Research Commission on Elections and Voting, comprised of leading political scientists, historians and election law experts, today released a report summarizing its broad assessment of the many issues and conflicts arising in the American electoral system. “Our review of the 2004 elections, and its predecessors, made clear the extent to which our democratic processes are not only flawed, but risk undermining the confidence of the American people,” said Alexander Keyssar, Chairperson of the Commission and Professor of History and Social Policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Although disappointingly incomplete in its analysis (among issues not addressed in the report include third parties, the breakdown of plurality voting methods when there are more than two candidates, instant runoff voting, under-representation of women and people of color legislatures, the potential impact of full representation on partisan polarizing and electoral competition and the lack of voting rights for residents of Washington, D.C.), the report provides welcome attention to the potential of universal voter registration and other ways to expand the electorate and protect the vote. A copy of the full report can be found on the Commission’s website at http://elections.ssrc.org.

Secretary of State Resolution Draws Attention to Key Office

At a February 2005 conference of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS), NASS adopted a resolution that encourages the Congress not to reauthorize or fund the Election Assistance Commission (EAC) after the conclusion of the 2006 federal election, and not to give the EAC any rule-making authority. In the wake of an election that nearly halved the rate of invalid ballots nationally due in no small part due to funding and regulations from Congress, NASS essentially is calling for a return to the pre-Election 2000 status quo.

That status quo means that each state – which in practice has meant each county and sometimes sub-county units, more than 12,000 in all – sets many of their own voting policies and procedures. This hodgepodge collection of federal, state and local policies, combined with weak mechanisms of accountability, has been at the root of many of the voting irregularities and discrepancies in elections around the nation. Read a revealing Associated Press wire story at: www.fairvote.org/righttovote/tanner.htm

FairVote plans this year to launch Democracy SOS, a special project of our Democracy USA initiative. Democracy SOS will convene electoral reform and civil rights organizations to develop a package of recommendations for action that then will then be presented before the 2006 election campaign to candidates for Secretary of State and other offices that affect electoral policy. The NASS resolution shows just how critically important these elections can be for the future of the right to vote in the United States.


IRV AMERICA
http://archive.fairvote.org/irv

Program mission: Three is a crowd in our current voting system – our plurality election process becomes dysfunctional when more than two candidates seek one office. It promotes zero-sum politics that discourages new candidates, suppresses new ideas and encourages negative campaigns rather than inclusive efforts to build coalitions. Instant runoff voting (IRV) elects candidates who have majority support, accommodates voters having better choices and encourages winning candidates to reach out to more people. Join with us to seek IRV to elect our top local, state and national leaders.

Spotlight: How IRV Helped Elect Ann Arbor’s First Black Mayor

On April 7, 1975, the citizens of Ann Arbor, Michigan, elected their first black mayor, Albert Wheeler, with instant runoff voting (IRV) a few months after approving IRV in a November 1974 ballot measure. An ongoing vote-splitting problem between Democratic candidates and the smaller Human Rights Party had resulted in the Republican mayor James Stephenson winning the previous election with less than a majority of the vote.

Instant runoff voting was essential to Wheeler’s win by eliminating the “spoiler” dynamic in 1975. After the first round of counting, Human Rights Party candidate Carol Ernst trailed the field of three with 11% of first choices:
First choices for Stephenson (R)    14,453
First choices for Wheeler (D)    11,815
First choices for Ernst    3,181
First choices for write-ins    52
Total Valid First Choices    29,501

Stephenson lacked a majority of votes, meaning a runoff round of counting was necessary. Because he was the second choice of nearly all of supporters of Ernst, Wheeler ultimately edged Stephenson by 121 votes after the write-in candidates and Ernst were eliminated. Stephenson contested the race, but in November 1975 the court upheld IRV, declaring that IRV does not violate the “one person, one vote” principle, and that it does not give different weight to different voters. Local Republicans launched a petition drive to repeal IRV. Capitalizing on low voter turnout and the fact that the initial election with paper ballots had taken extra time to count the votes (although voter error was lower than in the previous election), they win a repeal in a special election in April 1976. Read more about Albert Wheeler at: http://archive.fairvote.org/irv/albertwheeler.htm

Another Landslide Win: IRV for Mayor in Burlington, Vermont

On March 1, Burlington voters gave instant runoff voting a landslide win. Even as other high-profile ballot measures went down to defeat, 62% of voters supported adopting IRV for mayoral elections. Measures to implement IRV have now faced voters in three cities in the past year: Berkeley (CA), Ferndale (MI) and Burlington. The average win was nearly two-thirds of the vote. Here is a pdf file of the newspaper ad IRV backers placed last week in the Burlington Free Press: http://archive.fairvote.org/articles/burlingtonad.pdf

Attention in Vermont now turns to the legislature, which was following the Burlington measure closely to gauge voter support for reform. The legislature is expected to vote to allow the charter amendment in Burlington and will debate a bill to adopt IRV for statewide offices that has been introduced with wide support.

State Legislation Update

At least 14 states have IRV legislation, covering a full range of ways to advance IRV; we also expect congressional legislation on IRV this spring. We believe that at least some of this legislation will pass in 2005. For a full rundown of bills, see:http://archive.fairvote.org/action/index.html

The Vermont bill for IRV (H. 385), sponsored by 43 members of assembly, had its first reading on February 26th. The bill calls for IRV in elections for United States senator, representative to U.S. Congress, electors for U.S. president, and all statewide offices. It cites Vermont law dictating that races without a majority winner are decided by the legislature, resulting in "22 occasions where the governor was elected by the general assembly rather than by the voters.”

In Maine, the legislature passed legislation last year ordering a study of the feasibility of IRV. Now the legislature is debating legislation to institute IRV for all state elections. State House Majority Leader Glenn Cummings recently told the Portland Press Herald that “There is no place in Maine for an unfair system that leaves people feeling their vote does not matter.” The bill was described by Press Herald columnist Jim Brunelle as his “all-time favorite election reform proposal” in his February 7th column “Instant runoff offers another chance for Maine to lead.” See:

http://archive.fairvote.org/commentary/portlandpress020705.htm

http://archive.fairvote.org/articles/portlandpress020105.htm

Los Angeles Mayor’s Race Shows Value of IRV

Heading into next Tuesday’s election for mayor of Los Angeles, city councilor Antonio Villaraigosa is leading with 23% support. Two white candidates are close behind, and the race seems certain to go to an April runoff. In 2001, runoffs contributed to tensions in racially polarized campaigns in New York, Houston and Los Angeles – of which featured Latino candidates who lost – and the Los Angeles runoff likely will be similarly negative.

Instant runoff voting would elect a Los Angeles mayor in one round – and without doubt promote more positive, coalition-building campaigns. For more on the election, see a report on a recent poll at:

www.prnewswire.com

Facts in Focus from the Voting and Democracy Research Center: Turnout in Runoffs

Last year FairVote released statistics about how most federal primary elections with runoffs experience dramatic decreases in voter turnout in the runoff round. We also have a comprehensive report on runoffs from the late 1990s. See:

http://archive.fairvote.org/turnout/federaldecline.htm

http://archive.fairvote.org/irv/bullock.htm

San Francisco’s IRV Story: Analysis and Christian Science Monitor Commentary

This November, San Francisco will hold its second IRV elections. FairVote recently released an indepth analysis of the city’s first IRV elections last November for seven members of its Board of Supervisors. It  assesses our pre-election measures of success based on exit poll studies conducted by San Francisco State University’s Public Research Institute and the Chinese American Voter Education Committee) and a precinct-level data analysis conducted by SFSU Professor Rich DeLeon. See the report at:

http://archive.fairvote.org/sf/edu_EvalSFRCV2.pdf

FairVote’s Rob Richie also co-authored a commentary about IRV in San Francisco that appeared in the Christian Science Monitor on February 24. FairVote also released a report on what it took to adopt and implement IRV in San Francisco. See:

http://archive.fairvote.org/articles/csm.htm -- Christian Science Monitor

For ongoing major media coverage of IRV and other FairVote issues, see:

http://archive.fairvote.org/media/index.htm

Follow-up: North Carolina roundtables draw major interest in IRV

FairVote’s Reform Roundtables, a series of workshops focusing on election reform in the state, enjoyed large attendance and influential guests when it convened in North Carolina in February. Attendees included representatives from the State Board of Elections and Wake County Board of Elections, members of the NAACP, ACLU, League of Women Voters and North Carolina Verified Voting and leaders of major and minor parties. Instant runoff voting drew particular interest; the state soon will debate legislation to replace primary runoffs with IRV.

Read more about the roundtables at: http://archive.fairvote.org/nc/index.php


UPCOMING EVENTS

Friday, March 4 and Saturday, March 5, 2005

Rob Richie to Address First Woman President Symposium

Siena College - Loudonville, New York

Exploring the issues involved in electing the first woman president of the United States.

For two days, the First Woman President symposium will convene an outstanding cadre of academics, journalists and politicians studying the issue of women in political leadership, through research or in practice. FairVote’s executive director Rob Richie will speak on March 4th.

Saturday, March 19

Rob Richie to Address Delaware A. Philip Randolph Institute’s electoral reform

FairVote’s Rob Richie will be one of two keynote speakers at this event. Delaware APRI regularly holds community wide education events to discuss particular issues and develop strategies. This year they will focus on election analysis and their legislative agenda, which includes election reform.

Thursday, March 31st

David Moon on Under-representation of Women and Communities of Color
Election Protection and Democracy Expansion:
A Constitutional Reform Agenda for the New Century
American University, Washington College of Law, Washington, DC

FairVote program director David Moon will speak on a 4:30 pm panel on “Diversifying Democracy: Enhancing Women and Minorities Chances for Electoral Success.”  FairVote board member Jamin Raskin will speak about the right to vote amendment.

Friday April 22 - Thursday April 23

Rob Richie to speak at Yale’s “Lessons From the Past, Prospects for the Future: Honoring the 40 th Anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965”

Richie will be speaking on the 22nd in this three-day conference at Yale University

FairVote is a charitable organization that relies heavily on individual donations. Please consider supporting our efforts! Thanks for reading.

http://archive.fairvote.org/donate

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http://archive.fairvote.org, [email protected]

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