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Research Reports

11 - 20 of 111 results

  • Legal Analysis of Alternative Single Winner Election Methods

    There are many alternatives to the plurality voting system currently employed in most elections in the United States.  Some of those alternative voting methods have the potential to elect a candidate with the most widespread support, as opposed to plurality voting which may elect a candidate whom the majority of the electorate voted against.  Given their potential for a positive impact on voter choice, it is important to analyze the legal and practical viability of those alternatives.

     

  • Monopoly Politics 2012

    • Posted: July 23, 2012

  • No More Gerrymanders: Missouri

    Lawmakers in Missouri have recently passed a congressional redistricting plan that distorts the state’s political representation in favor of Republicans and institutionalizes a decade of uncompetitive, meaningless elections.

     

    To address the structural impediments of winner-take-all, FairVote has created an alternative— what we call fair voting — for Missouri’s congressional elections. Every voter in a fair voting system would experience a meaningful election and the great majority of voters would help elect a representative.

  • Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act: A History and Analysis of Relevant Supreme Court Cases

     

    This report traces the history of the Voting Rights Act, from its origins in 1965 through its opposition and its continued renewal. Specifically, the report details how Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act requires those states covered under Section 5 to preclear all proposed voting changes, including redistricting efforts, with the Department of Justice before their enactment. The advent of the Voting Rights Act, specifically Section 5, has been instrumental in preventing states from making changes which could potentially discriminate against racial and ethnic minorities. Throughout the history of Section 5 cases before the Supreme Court, the Court has yet to rule Section 5 is invalid.

     

  • Fuzzy Math: Wrong Way Reforms for Allocating Electoral College Votes

    This updated analysis (first published in 2007) analyzes two of the three major options available to state leaders interested in reforming how a state allocates its Electoral College votes: the whole number proportional system and congressional district system. It evaluates them on the basis of whether they promote majority rule, make elections more nationally competitive, reduce incentives for partisan machinations and make all votes count equally. Our analysis reveals that both of these methods fail to meet our criteria and fall far short of the National Popular Vote plan, which is the third major option available to reformers.

  • Legality of the Use of Ranked Choice Absentee Ballots for Military and Overseas Voters

    Ranked choice absentee ballots provide a legal and practical solution to the disenfranchisement of military and overseas voters in runoff elections. These ballots enable U.S. citizens covered by the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act of 1986 (UOCAVA) to cast votes when the ballot turnaround time between first and second elections is short.

  • Redistricting Reform in the States: June 2010

    FairVote's most recent review of redistricting reform in the states in 2009-2010 presents a mix of optimism and frustration for supporters of redistricting in the public interest rather than in the best interest of the political duopoly.

  • Not Your Parents' Presidential Elections: The Decline of Swing States, 1960-2008

    The number of swing states (generously defined as ones projected to be won by 9% or less in a year in which the major parties candidates split the national popular vote) has dropped sharply since 1988, especially among our nation's largest and smallest states. In 2008, only one of the 13 smallest states and only 4 of the 27 smallest states were swing states. This trend shows no indication of changing, with all trends pointing to wider division.

     

  • Dubious Democracy 1982-2010

    Dubious Democracy 1982-2010 provides a comprehensive assessment of the level of competition and accuracy of representation in U.S. House elections in all 50 states from 1982 to 2010. It ranks each state on a "democracy index" that is a relative measurement based on average margin of victory, percentage of seats to votes, how many voters elect candidates and number of House races won by overwhelming landslides.

  • Statewide Election Recounts, 2000-2009

    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.