Pages tagged "Districts and representation"


No More Gerrymanders: Transforming Connecticut into One At-Large Super District

Posted on What's New Sheahan Virgin, Super Districts on August 23, 2011

Lawmakers in Connecticut are debating how to redraw the boundaries of the state's five U.S. congressional districts in the wake of the 2010 Census. Fully in control of the state legislature, the Democratic Party is expected to push through a new map that protects its incumbents. Such controversies are products of our winner-take-all elections, in which 50.01% of voters can elect 100% of representation. Winner-take-all rules marginalize like-minded voters of a political minority no matter their relative numerical strength, thereby depressing turnout and providing inadequate representation. As part of an ongoing project, FairVote has produced a "super district" map designed for Connecticut elections with a proportional voting system. Our proportional plan upholds U.S. Supreme Court rulings on apportionment while guaranteeing fairer representation.

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No More Gerrymanders: Transforming Maine into One At-Large Super District

Posted on What's New Sheahan Virgin, Super Districts on August 23, 2011

Lawmakers in Maine are fiercely debating how to redraw the boundaries of the state's two U.S. congressional districts in the wake of the 2010 Census. Both political parties seek new maps favorable to their candidates, a process that could affect not only the current 2-0 Democratic U.S. House majority, but possibly also an Electoral College vote at the presidential level. FairVote has produced an alternative "super district" map designed for election with a proportional voting system. Our plan upholds U.S. Supreme Court rulings on apportionment while guaranteeing competitive voter choice and fairer representation.

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Options for States Seeking Section 5 Preclearance

Posted on What's New Lesley O'connor on August 03, 2011

Every ten years, after U.S. Census data is released, each state across the country must redraw electoral districts. One state with a history of controversial redistricting plans is Texas. This month, Gov. Rick Perry signed into law the state's new congressional redistricting maps.  

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South Carolina: The Super District Alternative

Posted on What's New Super Districts, Jais Mehaji on July 22, 2011

Redistricting ensures that political district lines reflect population changes in the U.S. Census every ten years so that each district has the same number of voters per seat in a district.  South Carolina is in the midst of redistricting and, as with most states, it’s become complicated and increasingly controversial and partisan. As explained in our recent post on Michigan, FairVote proposes an alternative to the winner-take-all system that has plagued the redistricting process, and opened it up to gerrymandering, partisan bickering, and opportunism.

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Gerrymandering in Michigan and the Super District Remedy

Posted on What's New Super Districts, Jais Mehaji on July 20, 2011

Controversies over redistricting in Michigan provide the latest evidence of the failure of winner-take-all, single member district rules. Winner-take-all elections inevitably represent many voters poorly and tempt partisans to gerrymander outcomes. The 1967 law mandating that states use them should be repealed so that states like Michigan can explore “super district” form of proportional voting to increase voter choice and fair outcomes.FairVote's example of how super districts would work in Michigan show that every district easily can be made to be competitive and guarantee fair representation.

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Curing Our Democracy Part II: The Redistricting Connection and the Pitfalls of the District-Based Electoral Vote System

Posted on What's New Joe Sroka on July 07, 2011

Part II: The Redistricting Connection and the Pitfalls of the District-Based Electoral Vote SystemThis Part explores the interaction between redistricting and electoral vote allocation in Nebraska and Maine, demonstrating the negative consequences and offering solutions to these problems. See Part I for an introduction and discussion about the winner-take-all rule for allocating electoral votes.

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Curing Our Democracy Part I: Nebraska's Electoral Vote Debate and the Pitfalls of the Winner-Take-All Rule

Posted on What's New Joe Sroka on June 30, 2011

Part I: Nebraska's Electoral Vote Debate and the Pitfalls of the Winner-Take-All RuleIf put on the spot, one may have difficulty articulating similarities between the states of Nebraska and Maine: the former, corn-yielding and reliably Republican; the latter, fish-producing and predominately Democratic. Yet Maine and Nebraska are the only states in the Union that presently split presidential electoral votes by congressional district rather than allocating all electoral votes to the statewide winner. In doing so, Nebraska and Maine are useful in diagnosing two conditions that plague our democracy: the current systems of partisan redistricting and presidential electoral vote allocation.

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FairVote's Redistricting Resources

Posted on What's New Joe Sroka on June 27, 2011

With the completion of the 2010 Census, state legislatures are now in the process of the decennial redrawing of congressional, state, and local electoral districts. The process of creating new boundary lines is highly partisan and often comes at the expense of voters. By gerrymandering districts, legislators and their political allies use redistricting to choose their voters instead of giving voters the opportunity to choose them. FairVote provides a number of resources and reports about the redistricting process, and potential improvements to the current system.

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