FairVote's Reform 2020 agenda is composed of 4 structural changes necessary to drastically improve our democracy and ensure respect for every vote and every voice. FairVote announced the agenda in 2014 and in just 2 years we have seen progress across the country and at a national level to advance these reforms.
Congressional elections are broken. The House of Representatives, created to be "the people's house" has become ineffective, unrepresentative, and unaccountable. Partisan polarization stifles practical legislation, skewed results divorce voters from their representatives, and the lack of competition means too many voices go unheard in elections.
The American people want a Congress that functions effectively and is truly of, by, and for the people. It's time to level the playing field and advance representative democracy with fair representation voting. These proposals help ensure that majority rule prevails, more voters elect favorite candidates, all voices are heard, and elected leaders are more accountable to the people.
Ranked choice voting--also known as "instant runoff voting"--makes democracy more fair and functional. It is the best way to accommodate more greater choice for voters. Proven in thousands of major elections, ranked choice voting upholds majority rule and encourages candidates to reach out to more voters. FairVote has helped pass ranked choice voting in 15 cities and partners with local reformers to remove administrative barriers, create resources for implementation, and build support for winning RCV for statewide elections.
Our electoral rules should ensure that every vote matters in every election. But our Electoral College rules make most voters irrelevant to campaigns that devote 99% of general election resources to just a dozen swing states. The National Popular Vote agreement is now law in states that represent more than half of the 270 electoral votes necessary to activate it for the next election. The National Popular Vote law will make every vote equal and guarantee the White House to the candidate who wins the most votes in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Working closely with the National Popular Vote coalition, FairVote is the nation’s leading source of innovative research and writing on the case for Electoral College reform.
Voting is an American principle and a basic democratic right that should be protected, promoted, and practiced, which is why many people are surprised to learn that the U.S. Constitution provides no explicit right to vote. This leaves voting rights vulnerable to the whims of politicians, and some citizens with fewer rights than others.
More than a decade ago, FairVote became the leading institutional voice calling for the establishment of an explicit individual right to vote in the U.S. Constitution. We believe that a grassroots movement to establish such an amendment would go a long way in ending the "voting wars" that plague us today. FairVote continues to serve as a trusted resource in support of activists, organizations, and elected officials working toward a right to vote amendment. Through our Promote Our Vote project, we work to build widespread support for a right to vote amendment, while advocating for pro-suffrage innovations at the local level.
*For bills advancing ranked choice voting, please visit our "Ranked Choice Voting in States" page.
Hawaii (HB1593/HB1633/SB2214/SB2259): requires qualified applicants for a new or renewed driver's license or civil identification card to either provide information to automatically register the applicant to vote or to clearly decline to register to vote
Massachusetts (HB3937): automatically registers eligible voters and enhancing safeguards against fraud
Maryland (SB350): universal voter registration act
New Jersey (AB1944): automatically registers or updates voter registration as part of driver's license application or renewal
New Mexico (SB2): automatic driver’s license voter registration
Vermont (HB458): automatic voter registration through motor vehicle driver’s license applications
West Virginia (HB4401): provides that any person with a West Virginia driver’s license or an official identification card is automatically registered to vote
Iowa (SF2142): lowers the age at which a person may register to vote and the age at which a registered voter is eligible to vote in a primary election
Missouri (HB2280): establishes a procedure for voter pre-registration for persons ages 15 to 18
New Jersey (SB832): permits voter registration of certain persons at age 17 for voting at next election occurring on or after 18th birthday (Passed)
Oklahoma (SB999): allows 16 year olds to preregister to vote
Virginia (HB292): preregistration for persons age 16 or older
West Virginia (HB4233): reduces the age from eighteen years to sixteen years of persons permitted to register to vote
New Mexico (HB138): allows persons who are seventeen years old and who will be eighteen by the day of the general election to vote in the primary election (passed legislature and on governor's desk)
Alaska (HB348): adopts the interstate compact for NPV
Georgia (HB929): adopts the interstate compact for NPV