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.
This article, published in the June 2013 edition of Presidential Studies Quarterly, surveys the inequality in campaign resource allocation during the 2012 presidential election and demonstrates that this inequality is unlikely to dissipate unless more states enact the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.
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.
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.
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.
FairVote's Monopoly Politics 2014 and the Fair Voting Solution report, presented below in the form of an interactive map and links to analysis and state profiles, is an important resource for understanding U.S. House elections as they are and as they could be with a simple statutory change that would open every corner of the country to meaningful two-party competition and fair representation. We project November 2014 winners in more than 370 of 435 House races using a methodology that will allow us to predict 2016 winners in an even greater number of districts on November 6th -- only two days after the 2014 election.
Establishing an explicit constitutional right to vote would strengthen the ability of all citizens to exercise their suffrage rights and limit the ability of federal, state, or local governments to impinge upon the right to vote. FairVote supports an amendment to the U.S. Constitution establishing such an explicit right to vote, because we believe that the right to vote is a cornerstone of representative democracy that depends upon broadly defined voter eligibility, universal voter access to the polls, and election integrity. Recent Supreme Court decisions only underscore the value of this approach, as a properly worded amendment would provide a check on abuses of federal power of the time, place and manner of congressional elections, a check on abuses of state power over voter eligibility in elections, and a means to establish policies designed to prevent practices at any level of government that unnecessarily undercut participation or have a discriminatory impact.
In 2010, California voters approved a ballot measure establishing a Top Two primary system. Top Two replaced a system in which partisan primaries were followed by a general election among nominees of each party and independents. Under Top Two, all candidates compete against each other in the first preliminary election irrespective of party preferences. Voters have one vote, and the two candidates receiving the most votes advance to the general election, again irrespective of party preferences.