E-Newsletter August 6, 2010
FairVote policy proposals for instant runoff voting (IRV) and the National Popular Vote plan (NPV) had a particularly big July. Massachusetts became the sixth state to enact NPV - see Rob Richie's commentary for YES magazine and Jules Leconte's review of the win and widespread media coverage, including an oped from Michael Dukakis. Charter commissions in Maine's biggest city (Portland) and Tennessee's biggest county (Shelby) voted overwhelmingly to place IRV on the November ballot, while the preliminary report of New York City's charter commission recommended IRV for mayor, as backed by Rob Richie in the New York Times. New jurisdictions holding IRV elections this year include Oakland (mayor) and North Carolina (three judicial elections), while FairVote's Cathy Le explains Australia's upcoming national IRV election. An oped by FairVote's Alec Slatky calling for IRV in Alabama primaries drew interest from political leaders, while Politico also ran a Slatky-Richie oped on IRV.
Port Chester (NY) released the FairVote-sponsored exit poll survey on how cumulative voting contributed to high turnout and fair representation -- as many as 80% of voters gave more than one vote to a candidate. FairVote issued a detailed analysis of the best way to make "open primaries" (as in the "top two" proposal adopted in California this year) work, while Rebecca Guterman highlighted innovative ways to introduce young people to voting and citizenship. Chair Krist Novoselic addressed the Global Forum on Democracy, was featured in the online Wall Street Journal and co-authored with Rob Richie a Milwaukee Sentinel oped on ending gerrymandering. Richie was on hand for the annual conference of the National Conference of State Legislators. Track the latest at www.twitter.com/fairvote.
P.S.: Happy Birthday, Voting Rights Act! It turns 45 on August 6th!