Reform Roundup: November 18th, 2016

Posted by Austin Plier on November 18, 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.

  • Akliah Johnson of the Boston Globe writes about Maine’s bold step towards a fairer democracy: “Ranked-choice voting ensures ‘fair representation,’ according to the nonprofit FairVote, which advocates for election reform nationally and has taken up the cause in Maine. Local advocates said it eliminates vote splitting, reduces incentives for negative campaigning, and ensures voters don’t feel like their vote is wasted, according to Committee for Ranked Choice Voting’s website.”

  • The Portland Press Herald Editorial Board expresses hope for future civil campaigns with ranked choice voting: “If 2016 had been a ranked-choice election, voters would have had more freedom to consider the options, and maybe more of them would have voted. Instead of handicapping a candidate’s chance of winning, eliminating the long shots from consideration and voting for the lesser of the remaining evils, the voter only has to decide which candidate they like the best. Then, if they have a second choice, the voter has a way to register it … There are no guarantees, but ranked-choice voting creates an incentive for candidates to stay positive. When a candidate wants support from another candidate’s supporters, there is less of an incentive to attack.”

  • Paul Raeburn explains some of the problems with first-past-the-post voting in Newsweek Middle East: “Game theorists argue that a ranked system could have advantages in the presidential election too. Voters who favored Democratic primary challenger Bernie Sanders but who feared Trump could have ranked Sanders first and Clinton second, reducing the likelihood that a vote for Sanders would tip the election to Trump. Democrats who believe that Ralph Nader’s insurgent candidacy in 2000 tipped the election away from Al Gore to George W. Bush might find this interesting. Nader voters had no opportunity to rank Gore second, as many of them might have done.”

  • Robert Speel explains how to establish a national popular vote in a post for The Conversation: “One way to create a national popular vote election for president without amending the Constitution is a plan called the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. Created by Stanford University computer science professor John Koza, the idea is to award each state’s electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote instead of the winner of the state popular vote. The proposal has received support in 10 states and the District of Columbia.

  • Katie Ghose, FairVote Board Member and Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society in the UK, highlights victories for ranked choice voting in a blog for the Huffington Post: “Maine is set to adopt [ranked choice voting] for all its 2018 elections for the U.S. Senate, U.S. House, the governor and the state legislature, following a series of elections where governors and other individuals have repeatedly won on under 50% of the popular vote. There’s more good news. Benton County, Oregon, has also voted to adopt ranked choice voting in what the campaign described as a ‘landslide’, while four California cities used it last night for their mayoral and city council elections.”

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