Research Reports

21 - 30 of 122 results

  • 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.


  • 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.

  • Understanding the RCV Election Results in District 10

    The Board of Supervisors race in District 10 was an unprecedented race in San Francisco’s seven-year history of using ranked choice voting (the first RCV elections took place in 2004). It featured 21 candidates, no incumbent and no obvious front runners.  That resulted in an election in which the winning candidate, Malia Cohen, barely edged out the competition in an exceptionally close race.

    Given the parameters of this race, RCV functioned smoothly to produce a winner that was preferred by the most voters. It fostered a degree of coalition-building as candidates and voters used the ranked ballots effectively, and unlike other races this race was substantially free of negative, mudslinging attacks as the multi-candidate field focused on seeking the second and third rankings from the supporters of other candidates.
  • California's Proposition 14: Weaknesses and Remedies

    FairVote analyzes the policy and legal ramifications of Proposition 14 (The "Top Two Primaries Act") In California and gives recommendations of ways to roll back some of its worst effects by statute.