Research Reports

Federal Primary Runoff Elections and Voter Turnout Declines, 1994 - 2016

Posted on December 02, 2016
Federal Primary Runoff Elections and Voter Turnout Declines, 1994 - 2016

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.

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Statewide Election Recounts, 2000-2015

Posted on November 29, 2016

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.

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Gender Parity on the Eve of the 2016 Election

Posted on November 04, 2016
Gender Parity on the Eve of the 2016 Election

The State of Women's Representation on the Eve of the 2016 Election reflects on America's slow progress toward gender parity in elective office and explores how each state is performing.

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The Impact of Ranked Choice Voting on Representation

Posted on September 12, 2016
The Impact of Ranked Choice Voting on Representation

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.

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RCV and Political Engagement

Posted on August 02, 2016
RCV and Political Engagement

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.

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Fixing Gerrymandering in Washington

Posted on January 08, 2016
Fixing Gerrymandering in Washington

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. 

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