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FairVote Blog

  • When Barack Obama Was a Leader in Seeking Fair Voting Systems

    by Rob Richie // December 20, 2012 //

    President Barack Obama has a lot on his mind these days, but the state of our democracy remains critical. Fortunately, judging by Obama's record in the Illinois Senate --where he was the prime sponsor of legislation to advance cumulative voting and instant runoff voting - we haven't had a president as informed about good ideas for taking on electoral reform since James Madison and the founding generation.


  • Not Helping America Vote: The Plight of the Un-filled Election Assistance Commission

    by Elizabeth Hudler, Rob Richie // February 26, 2013 //

    Creating an active EAC is a simple positive step – and one that happens to be the law. Reform should be about systemic, enduring solutions, not just shorter lines. #wehavetofixthat

  • It's Not Just Gerrymandering: Fixing House Elections Demands End of Winner-Take-All Rules

    by Rob Richie, Devin McCarthy // December 16, 2012 //

    This year's elections put a spotlight on the troubled nature of how we elect the House of Representatives, the alleged "people's house." But some of our smartest election experts don't seem to understand the root of the problems with House elections.

  • New Commitment to Our Most Basic Right

    by Mollie Hailey // December 13, 2012 //

    Attorney General Holder has observed that, “too many citizens have reason to fear that their right to vote, their access to the ballot – and their ability to have their votes counted – is under threat.” Through reform of the systemic problems that plague our electoral process, we can combat this threat. We will ultimately need to think and act nationally; but now is the time for all of us to get involved in that effort in our cities and states.

  • Electoral College Chaos: How Republicans Could Put a Lock on the Presidency

    by Rob Richie // December 13, 2012 //

    Our current Electoral College rules allow for partisan manipulation of outcomes. FairVote's director Rob Richie explains how if Republicans in 2011 had abused their monopoly control of state government in several key swing states and passed new laws for allocating electoral votes, the exact same votes cast in the exact same way in the 2012 election would have converted Barack Obama's advantage of nearly five million popular votes and 126 electoral votes into a resounding Electoral College defeat.

  • FairVote Chair Krist Novoselic on Democracy and Proportional Representation

    December 12, 2012 //

    Those in New York City were recently excited to learn that Krist Novoselic and Dave Grohl of Nirvana will be reuniting to play at the 12/12/12 benefit concert for those affected by Hurricane Sandy, with Paul McCartney joining them in the role formerly filled by Kurt Cobain. A smaller number may be aware of the critical role Krist Novoselic has played in fighting for reforms to improve American democracy.

  • "Incumbency Bumps": Measuring National Partisan Swings By Evaluating the Incumbent Advantage in U.S. House Races, 1996-2012

    by Devin McCarthy, Rob Richie // December 4, 2012 //

    FairVote introduces its updated "incumbency bump" data for the 2012 election. Incumbents once again received a substantial advantage over challengers this year, although that bump was the lowest it has been since FairVote first began analyzing incumbency in 1996.

  • Pennsylvania Senate Leader Pileggi Wrong on Prescription for Electoral College Reform

    by Rob Richie // December 3, 2012 //

    Pennsylvania's senate majority leader Dominic Pileggi is backing a new plan to divide his state's electoral votes in the 2016 presidential race. While supported as a means to provide a fair reflection of state voters in the Electoral College, the plan has big downsides -- and falls far short of the National Popular Vote plan. Sen. Pileggi should back the National Popular Vote plan and apply his interest in proportional representation to elections for Congress and the state legislature.

  • Ms. Executive: Women Governors in Decline

    by Patricia Hart // November 29, 2012 //

    Women set records in the 2012 elections. More women than ever before will be serving in the Senate next year, as they will occupy 20 seats. Slight increases were made on other fronts as well; the U.S. House and state legislatures will have more women serving in their chambers next year. Nevertheless, progress for women was not ubiquitous in 2012. The number of women governors is in decline.

  • A Representative Congress: Enhancing African American Voting Rights in the South with Choice Voting

    by Rob Richie // November 27, 2012 //

    In southern states, racially polarized elections remain an active part of political life. Since 1965, the Voting Rights Act has guaranteed that African Americans in the South cannot be shut out of elections either through direct barriers to voting or through discriminatory districts that prevent the achievement of representation. However, relying on winner-take-all elections has inherent limitations. In the belt of southern states including Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and the Carolinas, the use of districting to achieve a fairer level of representation for African Americans has hit a ceiling. To push through that ceiling and achieve truly fair representation, FairVote recommends abandoning the single-member district in favor of super districts elected by choice voting.