Reports

Santa Clara's Measure A and Communities of Color

Posted on May 30, 2018

MeasureACover.PNGIn this short report, FairVote assesses the impact of a proposed charter amendment in Santa Clara on the voting rights of Santa Clara's Asian American and Latino communities. The amendment, which will be on the ballot on June 5, 2018 as Measure A, would institute the use of multi-winner ranked choice voting for Santa Clara's City Council. Specifically, the city would divide into two multi-winner districts, and each would elect three members to the City Council.

The analysis concludes that based on the demographics of each district and voter turnout in prior elections, Measure A would result in dramatically increased political power for communities of color in Santa Clara. Asian American voters would have the power to elect one candidate of choice in each district, and Latino voters would have the power to elect a candidate of choice in one of the two districts. It further analyzes an alternative proposal: multi-winner ranked choice voting in citywide elections for all six seats simultaneously. This would have a similar impact, with potentially better representation of the distinct views of Santa Clara's South Asian and East Asian communities, though it would involve the elimination of staggered elections.

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Ranked Choice Voting and Racial Minority Voting Rights in the Bay Area

Posted on May 15, 2018

RCV_VotingRights_BayArea_2018April-cover.pngIn this short report, FairVote assesses the election rates of people of color in the California Bay Area before and after the adoption of ranked choice voting. We show that people of color hold office at a higher rate under ranked choice voting than under the prior system. We also demonstrate that people of color win office more often since the adoption of ranked choice voting across three different ways of categorizing districts: plurality-minority (districts where one ethnic minority group is the largest in the district); white-plurality (districts where ethnic minority groups are collectively in the majority, but whites are the largest single group); and white-majority.

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The Impact of Ranked Choice Voting on Representation

Posted on September 12, 2016

This study examines the effect of ranked choice voting (RCV) on women and people of color running for elected office in the California Bay Area. The findings of the study reveal that RCV increases descriptive representation for women, people of color, and women of color. Some reasons for RCV’s positive effects can be related to how often it replaces low, unrepresentative, turnout elections and that it allows for multiple candidates appealing to the same community to run without splitting the vote.

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The State of Women's Representation 2015-2016

Posted on December 14, 2015

The State of Women's Representation 2015-2016 finds that women are underrepresented at the national, state, and local level, and that parity for men and women in elected office is unlikely to occur without structural changes in recruitment, electoral, and legislative rules.

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Ranked Choice Voting and Racial Group Turnout

Posted on November 02, 2015

A recent study on the impact of RCV in San Francisco presents some surprising findings on differences in turnout between racial groups that contradict previous research on the subject. In this report, we take a closer look at the study and find serious methodological flaws that cast doubt on its findings.

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The State of Women's Representation 2013-2014

Posted on June 13, 2014

The State of Women's Representation 2013-2014 is a report by FairVote's Representation 2020 project. It is the first in a series of annual reports leading to the year 2020, the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment. It summarizes and analyzes women’s representation in elected office, and monitors progress for each of the six areas of our 2020 Pledge. It also establishes Representation 2020's unique Parity Index, which measures the level of women's representation in each state. As we will show, while some progress is being made in getting more women elected to public office, the progress is slow and could benefit from Representation 2020's key reforms. 

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Spotlighting a Best Practice

Posted on August 11, 2010

FairVote Summer intern Rebecca Guterman interviewed Tim Hwang, Student Member of the Board of Education in Montgomery County, MD, to highlight a practice that helps both the student representative and the rest of the student population gain experience in voting and representative government.

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Wyoming Profile

Posted on August 24, 2009

Fact in focus: Wyoming's incumbent win streak dates back 44 years -- the longest in the nation.

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West Virginia Profile

Posted on August 24, 2009

Fact in focus: US House incumbents in West Virginia have won 42 straight races dating back 26 years, including 2 repeat landside winners in 2008.

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Wisconsin Profile

Posted on August 24, 2009

Fact in focus: Of Wisconsin's 8 US House Members, 7 are untouchable incumbents who won repeat landsides in 2008.

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