Who We Are
A non-profit, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organization, FairVote educates and enlivens discourse on how best to remove the structural barriers to a democracy that respects every voice and every vote in every election. Grounded in its unique networks, analysis, strategic insight and body of research, FairVote acts as a catalyst for electoral reform and voting rights through regular engagement with scholars, journalists, civic leaders, policymakers, and state and local reformers.
Examples of FairVote's pivotal role in introducing and drawing attention to innovative reforms include the attention now given to ranked choice voting, the National Popular Vote plan for president, voter preregistration for young people, universal voter registration, a constitutional right to vote, and fair representation voting forms of proportional representation. FairVote sees these proposals as essential building blocks for the higher voter turnout, fairer representation and wider spectrum of ballot choices necessary to achieve a just society - one in which most Americans can elect representatives and hold them accountable, in which city voters are as important as suburban voters, in which people of color and women are as likely to win representation as white men and in which campaigns provide opportunities for substantive debate about a full range of policy ideas.
FairVote's staff, board members and volunteers regularly trigger discussion about reform with its reports and writing. FairVote leaders and staff members have recently been published, quoted, and featured in the Washington Post, Associated Press, New York Times, Salon, and The Nation and have published lengthy articles in Presidential Studies Quarterly and the University of Richmond Law Review. FairVote representatives appeared on C-SPAN, MSNBC and NPR, while policymakers introduced legislation grounded in its outreach and analysis at all levels of government. We assisted localities and organizations to implement our reform ideas, including ranked choice voting in Oakland (CA), Portland (ME) and San Francisco (CA) and cumulative voting in Port Chester (NY).
We ground our reform advocacy in fundamental democratic principles and regularly consider new ideas and approaches to uphold those principles. At the same time, we focus our research, education and outreach on several bold yet achievable changes within three general categories:
- Fair access to participation: We support universal voter registration, a constitutionally protected right to vote and education preparing youth for their role in our democracy.
- Fair elections: We support a national popular vote for president, instant runoff voting for single-winner offices and more transparent and accountable election administration.
- Fair representation: We support choice voting and other methods of proportional voting for local, state and national elections.
Operating for many years as the Center for Voting and Democracy, FairVote was founded in 1992. It has a large volunteer network across the nation, with closely allied groups in states like California, and Minnesota. We rely on donations from individuals and foundations, with all such donations being fully tax-deductible.