Research Reports


RCV vs Other Voting Systems – By the Numbers

Posted on March 24, 2015

With over 100 elections conducted using RCV in the U.S. since 2000, there is much data RCV and its relationship to voter turnout, ballot spoilage, voter behavior and strategy and numerous other aspects of RCV elections. To explore these data, visit our "RCV Statistics" page. 

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Fuzzy Math: Wrong Way Reforms for Allocating Electoral Votes

Posted on January 28, 2015

States have a constitutional obligation to decide how they will allocate their electoral votes during presidential elections. Almost all states currently use statewide, winner-take-all rules, which gives all of the state's votes to the winner of the statewide popular vote. But some states have considered alternative methods, such as the whole number proportional system and the congressional district system. We look at the effect these systems would have on presidential elections. Neither system promotes majority rule, increases competitiveness nationwide, or ensures voter equality.

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The State of Women's Representation 2013-2014

Posted on June 13, 2014

The State of Women's Representation 2013-2014 is a report by FairVote's Representation 2020 project. It is the first in a series of annual reports leading to the year 2020, the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment. It summarizes and analyzes women’s representation in elected office, and monitors progress for each of the six areas of our 2020 Pledge. It also establishes Representation 2020's unique Parity Index, which measures the level of women's representation in each state. As we will show, while some progress is being made in getting more women elected to public office, the progress is slow and could benefit from Representation 2020's key reforms. 

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The Role of Cities in National Popular Vote Elections

Posted on June 13, 2014

In debating options for reforming presidential elections in the United States, the most promising alternative to the status quo is the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPV). But even though we use popular vote elections to select every member of Congress and all 50 governors, some NPV skeptics warn that its adoption would have a partisan impact on presidential elections. They fear that Democrats could increase their national vote totals by focusing resources on major metropolitan areas, while Republicans could achieve similar gains only by spreading their resources across more geographically dispersed, non-urban areas. This report challenges this argument in three ways. 

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The Role of Cities in National Popular Vote Elections

Posted on February 12, 2014

This report challenges the argument that a national popular vote for president would advantage Democratic or urban voters in three ways. First, we demonstrate that urban areas, when properly defined as metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs), lean only modestly toward the Democratic Party. 

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The Effect of Fair Representation Voting on 2013 Cambridge, Massachusetts Municipal Elections

Posted on February 12, 2014

Cambridge, Massachusetts is the only municipality in the United States to elect its city council through the at-large form of ranked choice voting, a form of fair representation voting. This report examines the effects of this system on the city’s 2013 city council and school committee elections, with a particular focus on comparing the outcome of the city council contest with the results of a simulated election using an alternative system: winner-take-all block voting.

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Redistricting Reform in the South

Posted on February 12, 2014

Nowhere in the United States are the pernicious effects of gerrymandering and winner-take-all, single-member districts more clearly visible than in the South. In the line of states running from Louisiana to Virginia, congressional races are nearly universally uncompetitive, Democrats are systematically disadvantaged, and African Americans are underrepresented in spite of the Voting Rights Act. Through the use of sample maps, this report examines the impact that different redistricting criteria would have on partisan and racial representation in the South.

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