National Voter Registration Day: Why We Need Universal Voter Registration

Posted by Kelsey Kober on September 27, 2016
National Voter Registration Day: Why We Need Universal Voter Registration

September 27 marks National Voter Registration Day. For many, this day symbolizes American democracy and an invitation to all citizens to participate in the government. What many might not know is that the United States is one of the only democracies in the world to not automatically register voters, instead shifting the responsibility to political parties, organizations, and elected officials with a history of bias.

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Crowded Field Could Lead to Severe Vote Splitting in Louisiana Senate Race

Posted by Ben Fogarty on September 09, 2016
Crowded Field Could Lead to Severe Vote Splitting in Louisiana Senate Race

With twenty-four candidates running, the race to replace outgoing Louisiana U.S Senator David Vitter is one of the most hotly contested elections this year. While competition is emblematic of a healthy democracy, Louisiana’s current electoral system has a defect that is partly addressed by having a majority runoff but still leaves voters in a tough situation during highly competitive races like this one.

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MetroGreater Contest Uses RCV to Improve the DC Metro

Posted by Ben Fogarty on August 17, 2016
MetroGreater Contest Uses RCV to Improve the DC Metro

Greater Greater Washington and the Coalition for Smarter Growth are currently using ranked choice voting to determine the winner of their MetroGreater contest. This contest invited the public to submit small, low-cost ideas for improving riders’ experiences on the Washington DC Metro system.

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Upcoming Supreme Court Case to Tackle Virginia Race-Based Redistricting Criteria

Posted by Chris Hughes on August 17, 2016
Upcoming Supreme Court Case to Tackle Virginia Race-Based Redistricting Criteria

Earlier this summer the Supreme Court agreed to review Bethune Hill v. Virginia State Board of Elections, a case challenging the use of race in the 2011 redistricting of Virginia’s 100-seat House of Delegates. Virginia claimed to be trying to comply with the Voting Rights Act, by insisting that certain districts had to have at least 55% black voting age population. However, as redistricting experts like Justin Levitt have pointed out, this approach is a bad caricature of what the Voting Rights Act requires

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Courts Rule Against Discriminatory Voter ID Laws

Posted by Samantha Washington on August 11, 2016
Courts Rule Against Discriminatory Voter ID Laws

Restrictive voter ID laws are being challenged across the country. Courts in Wisconsin and North Carolina have struck down strict requirements for what can be used as a valid form of identification at the polls. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, one of the most conservative courts in the country, also ruled that Texas’ voter ID requirements were discriminatory and ordered a lower court to come up with a provision to the law ameliorating the problem in time for the November election.

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Illinois Expands Voting Rights for 17-year-olds

Posted by Ben Fogarty on August 09, 2016
Illinois Expands Voting Rights for 17-year-olds

Illinois state lawmakers took a step towards making their elections more inclusive by expanding the political rights of 17-year-olds. HB 6167, which was signed into law on August 5, 2016, grants 17-year-olds who will turn 18 before the next general election the ability to sign and circulate petitions, pre-register to vote, and help register other eligible citizens to vote.

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Civility in RCV elections in Berkeley

Posted by Jeremy Seitz-brown on August 05, 2016
Civility in RCV elections in Berkeley

Two candidates in the Berkeley, California, mayoral race are working together and urging their supporters to rank the other candidate second, providing yet another example of ranked choice voting elections’ ability to incentivize civility.

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