Fairvote.org is currently undergoing an upgrade, and some features may not be working as usual. We apologize for any inconvenience, and expect to be back at full capacity soon.

Sample Proportional Voting Legislation for Congress

To provide that a State that uses a system of limited voting, cumulative voting or preference voting may establish multi-member congressional districts.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of American in Congress assembled:

Section 1. Multi-Member Districts With Certain Qualifications Are Permitted for Elections of Representatives within States

(a) In General - Notwithstanding Public Law 90- 196 (2 U.S.C. 2c), a State entitled to more than one Representative in Congress may establish a number of districts for election of Representatives that is less than the number of Representatives to which the state is entitled as long as that State uses a system of limited voting, a system of cumulative voting or a system of preference voting in its multi-member districts.

(b) Limited Voting Described - Limited voting is a system in which a voter may not cast a number of votes that is more than one-half the number of Representatives to be elected.

(c) Cumulative Voting Described - Cumulative voting is a system in which a voter may cast a number of votes up to the number of Representatives to be elected, and the voter may distribute those votes, including fractions of votes, in any combination, including all votes for one candidate.

(d) Preference Voting Described - Preference voting is a system in which a voter ranks the candidates and candidates win by reaching a required threshold of votes. After totaling first-place votes, all candidates who have reached the threshold are declared elected. Votes in excess of the threshold are transferred to the voters' next-choice candidates: either some votes at full value or all votes at an appropriately reduced value. When no candidate is above the threshold and all seats have yet to be filled, the candidate with the fewest top-ranked votes is eliminated, and all of his or her votes are transferred to the next-choice candidates at full value. Voters may rank candidates equally. When candidates are so ranked, the value of the ballot is divided equally among such candidates.

The threshold is calculated as: (1) votes divided by the number of Representatives to be elected; (2) votes divided by the number of Representatives to be elected plus one, plus one vote; (3) or any number between the number calculated under clause (1) and the number calculated under clause (2).

(e) Equality Requirement - In a State that uses districts in a system of limited voting, a system of cumulative voting or a system of preference voting, the number of residents per Representative in a district shall be equal for all Representatives elected.

(f) Single-Member Districts Allowed - A State may use single-member districts alone or in combination with multi-member districts.