Reform Roundup: December 22nd, 2016

Posted by Austin Plier on December 22, 2016

Catch up on the week’s electoral reform news with our round up of folks across the country writing and talking about FairVote’s reform vision. We also invite you to read these highlights of great press for ranked choice voting in 2016.

  • The New York Times editorial board affirms its support for the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact: “There is an elegant solution: The Constitution establishes the existence of electors, but leaves it up to states to tell them how to vote. Eleven states and the District of Columbia, representing 165 electoral votes, have already passed legislation to have their electors vote for the winner of the national popular vote. The agreement, known as the National Popular Vote interstate compact, would take effect once states representing a majority of electoral votes, currently 270, signed on. This would ensure that the national popular-vote winner would become president.”

  • John Nichols put ranked choice voting on his 2016 Honor Roll in The Nation as the Most Valuable State Electoral Reform: “On November 8, Maine voters approved a ranked-choice (or instant-runoff) system to elect US senators, US representatives, the governor, and state legislators. Under the new plan, voters will rank candidates in order of preference, with the votes of losing candidates being reassigned to more viable preferences until a clear winner emerges—no spoilers, no wasted votes. State Representative Diane Russell says this system “allows [Mainers] to vote their hopes.” That freedom and flexibility will advance the promise of democracy, and the group FairVote is working to get other states to embrace that promise.”

  • FairVote Executive Director Rob Richie appeared on NPR’s All Things Consideredto discuss the merits of the National Popular Vote plan for president: “[T]he goal is to have the candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and D.C. always win the election.And if you talk to candidates that win governors races and congressional races where the popular vote determines the outcome, they don't ignore voters. Every votes in play, and if it's close, you're foolish to not aggressively try to get people to participate wherever they are.”

  • Ariel Procaccia writes in Wired about the potential for voting system reforms like ranked choice voting to improve our elections and governance: “As more and more people discover the benefits of advanced voting systems, we will see more faith in the power of democratic decision-making in the short term, and perhaps, in the long term, a rethinking of the way political elections are conducted in this country and around the world.”

  • Deckle McLean writes in The State Journal-Register about ways to fix the our primary process, including adopting ranked choice voting: “Fair Vote and the College of William & Mary collaborated this year in a survey to estimate how the Republican primaries would have turned out under ranked-choice instant-runoff voting… This approach would efficiently digest large arrays of primary candidates, arguably better capturing all voters' preferences.”

  • Cynthia Terrell of Representation2020 writes in The Portland Press Herald how ranked choice voting could improve the representation of women and people of color in Maine: Why does ranked-choice voting matter for women? It gives voters the power to rank candidates in order of choice. Voters can support the candidates they like the best without fear their vote will help the candidate they like the least. In the San Francisco Bay Area, the group Representation 2020 studied the impact of ranked-choice voting on women and people of color. The impact is notable: More women and women of color were able to run and win.

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