What’s up in Democracy with FairVote (September Edition)

Posted by Myeisha Boyd on October 03, 2017

As a means to showcase the necessity for systematic change to the way we select our governmental leaders, FairVote presents a monthly, representative round-up of media attention on FairVote and the work centered around ranked choice voting, the Fair Representation Act and other issues of electoral reform.

 

What’s ‘Proportional Voting,’ and Why is it making a Comeback?, Governing

Proportional elections are conducted in other countries, and in many of those places, the rules are pretty simple. If a party wins 30 percent of the national vote, it wins 30 percent of the legislative seats. That’s not the way it’s generally been tried in the United States. “We need to make general elections matter again,” says Rob Richie, executive director of FairVote, a nonprofit that favors proportional voting. “In this climate, that’s not going to happen without changing elections.”

Sen. Jeff Flake is right about dangers of gerrymandering Congressional districtsArizona Daily Star by David Daley

FairVote’s David Daley pens an article on Arizona Senator Jeff Flake’s acknowledgment that our current state of gerrymandering-on-steroids has helped produce a dysfunctional Congress that’s accountable only to the extremes, and how the Fair Representation Act is a good remedy.

Audio: Supreme Court to Hear Pivotal Case pm Partisan Gerrymandering, “Between the Lines” by Scott Harris

The Supreme Court will hear arguments in an important case known as Gill v. Whitford in early October, which challenges partisan gerrymandering. FairVote’s Legal and Policy Director Drew Spencer Penrose is interviewed on-air.

You can read more here.

Tyranny of the MinorityNew York Times by Michelle Goldberg

NYT columnist speaks with Congressman Don Beyer (D-Va.), sponsor of The Fair Representation Act (H.R.3057) on replacing single-member districts with larger districts represented by several people. The resulting delegations would be more likely to be proportional, creating space for Massachusetts Republicans as well as Oklahoma Democrats.

The Industry that Treats Its Customers Worse than Any Other, Forbes by Richard Kestenbaum

Nice write up of the Harvard Business School report that examines U.S. politics as an industry and how it is not currently serving its customers very well. One of the solutions cited is ranked choice voting.

We need political parties. But their rabid partisanship could destroy American DemocracyVox by Lee Drutman

Drutman writes about how hyper partisanship threatens our very democracy but is encouraged about how the Fair Representation Act could serve as a fix. As a conservative New York City resident he’s tired of having his vote wasted.

Democrats’ blindspot: Our political system is rigged- and partisanship can’t unrig it, Salon

Democrats and their supporters have no choice but to continue to defend their incumbents, fight for open seats and attempt to capture new ground. But until there is a parallel and significant shift in resources towards efforts to unrig the system, their results on Election Day will continue to disappoint. And when they do invest, they must do it with an eye towards efforts that are capturing support from across the political spectrum — not just the liberal base. More choices, more voices: Six states have had ranked choice voting systems in local elections: Colorado, California, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Maine and Maryland.

Opinion: It’s time to give instant runoff balloting a try, Montgomery Advertiser

William Holahan, Professor at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee writes about the benefits of RCV (aka Instant Runoff Voting) by explaining how it works, the third party impact, and openness to ideas.

Is Ranked Choice Voting Coming to This Major Battleground State?, Independent Voter Network by Doug Goodman

Nevada could be on its way to implementing Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) if the Greater Choice – Greater Voice initiative being prepared by Nevadans for Election Reform is passed by the voters. The initiative, currently being drafted, would replace the state’s current partisan closed primary system with a single election in November using RCV.

Effort Afoot to Bring Ranked-Choice Voting to Seattle, Seattle Weekly by Daniel Person

Seattle may be the next city to pass ranked choice voting, if enough signatures can be gathered to place it on the ballot. If passed, ranked choice balloting would be used in city primary elections to determine the top two candidates that would face off in the general election.

Column: Many benefits to staging just one election, The Daily Courier by Ken Sain

Columnist writes about the benefits of ranked choice voting, including saving taxpayer money, calling RCV “a simple concept....”

How to End Gerrymandering For GoodSightline Institute by Kristin Eberhard

Kristin Eberhard, senior researcher at Sightline Institute writes a scenario for readers about being a governor ending gerrymandering in the state. One way to achieve fair representation and end gerrymandering is to create fair voting methods and incorporate ranked choice voting.

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