Federal Primary Election Runoffs and Voter Turnout
Decline analyzes turnout data for the 190 primary runoff
elections held between 1994 and 2016. The report
finds that primary runoff elections are plagued by significant
declines in turnout that dilute the representative
nature of the system. The report examines the effect
of the time delay between elections on turnout decline.
Finally, the report recommends alternative runoff
systems such as instant runoff voting to eliminate the
turnout decline problem while preserving the benefits
to representation of runoffs.
FairVote's April 2011 report by Rob Richie and Emily Hellman examines statewide election recount outcomes and practices in the United States, using data from the decade of elections taking place in the years 2000 to 2009 to determine how often they occur, how often they change outcomes, how much vote totals change and how these figures vary with the size of the electorate.
This study examines the effect of ranked choice voting (RCV) on women and people of color running for elected office in the California Bay Area. The findings of the study reveal that RCV increases descriptive representation for women, people of color, and women of color. Some reasons for RCV’s positive effects can be related to how often it replaces low, unrepresentative, turnout elections and that it allows for multiple candidates appealing to the same community to run without splitting the vote.
Haley Smith explores different aspects of political engagement, showing that, in RCV cities, candidates are more likely to reach out to voters in-person and voters are more likely to discuss politics with their families, friends and co-workers than in cities that do not use RCV.
Cambridge, MA, has used multi-winner RCV to elect its city council for decades. In this report, polarization among Cambridge city council candidates and councilors is explored, showing low levels of polarization.
Washington state has long suffered from noncompetitive congressional elections. It has experienced one of the longest incumbent winning streaks in the nation: no U.S. House incumbent has lost in Washington since 1998.