Research Reports

41 - 50 of 116 results

  • International Snapshot: Australia 2007

    On November 24th 2007, Australia elected its House of Representatives with instant runoff voting (IRV), as it has for more than eight decades. After four straight election defeats, the Labor Party won a landslide majority of seats. Under IRV, Labor's initial 44% of first choices turned into a clear majority after considering the choices of supporters of third party candidates with too little support to win seats. The Green Party's 7.79% share of the national vote largely went to Labor in House races; that share earned several senate seats elected by proportional voting. Due in large part to compulsory voting, turnout was 94.77%; Australians rank near the top of national comparisons of voter satisfaction with their government.

     

  • A Survey and Analysis of Statewide Election Recounts, 1980-2006

    NOTE: This report has been replaced. For updated information on recounts, see the new report: A Survey and Analysis of Statewide Election Recounts, 2000-2009

    This report takes an in-depth look at election recount outcomes and practices in the United States, using data from statewide elections held between 1980 and 2006. The purpose is to quantify various aspects of the process, such as the frequency of recounts, vote differences involved, and recount outcomes, and analyze how these figures vary with the size of the electorate and recount methodology.

  • International Snapshot: Scotland 2007

    On May 3, 2007, Scottish voters used two proportional voting systems simultaneously: for the first time ever, choice voting (or the single transferable vote) for local councils, and once again, mixed member proportional voting for the Scottish Parliament. The local council elections saw increased participation and broadly representative results. Despite the first-time use of choice voting alongside a completely different voting system, error rates were, on average, remarkably low. The MMP elections ensured proportionality in seat shares and arguably prevented a wrong-winner result. There was early controversy over error rates allegedly around 10%, but actual error rates were lower. Later research moreover confirmed that voter error was due to critical ballot design flaws.

  • Assessing Instant Runoff Voting in Takoma Park (MD)

  • The Feasibility of Instant Runoff Voting in Vermont

    FairVote commissioned a complementary report by Caleb Kleppner, one of the nation's foremost experts on the use and administration of ranked choice elections. This report lays out a full range of implementation options for Vermont and includes topics such as voting equipment, counting procedures and voter education programs.

  • Democracy Denied

  • Federal Primary Election Runoffs and Voter Turnout Decline

    This study looks at the decline in voter turnout between primary and primary runoff elections for federal races from 1994-2006. It is based on the two-party results of those elections. In the vast majority of cases, it is possible to look for trends in the relationship between turnout and a candidate's race, gender, affiliation and/or office sought (House or Senate). The study also looks at comebacks, or elections in which the runoff winner had trailed in the first round primary, and incumbency.

  • International Snapshot: Poland

    Poland held elections to its parliament in September 2005. Its lower house, the Sejm, is elected proportionally from closed lists. The Senate is elected in two- or three-member winner-take-all districts. While this feature of Senate elections should discourage small parties from running candidates, more and more parties contest elections with each passing cycle. Despite a relatively high threshold of 5% to enter the Sejm, small, ideologically similar parties proliferate, and coalition-building remains a challenge. This paper looks the intersections of Poland’s electoral system and party behavior, coalition-bulding, and turnout. It also considers the potential implications of a change to the formula used to allocate Sejm seats.

  • Majority Rule in International Presidential Elections

    Of the 28 freest presidential democracies, 21 require the president to win with a majority of votes. Two more mandate presidents be elected with relatively high minimum pluralities. Only five allow pure plurality winners. One of them, the United States, permits the winner of the popular vote to lose the election through an Electoral College system. The 23 countries with majority and minimum plurality requirements all employ runoff elections. 22 use delayed runoff elections and one, Ireland, builds both rounds into one with instant runoff voting (IRV).

    Each method has implications for voter choice, quality of campaigning and respect for majority rule. This report examines each system and its implications by way of description and case studies.

  • Outside Looking In

    This report makes clear the extent to which the preferences of black and urban voters are under-represented in the nomination process. It then argues that an early primary in Washington, D.C. is the only way to give these loyal Democratic constituencies an effective voice in the 2008 nomination.