- The Fair Representation Act
- Why RCV for Congress
Why RCV for Congress
The U.S. Constitution does not say how states should elect their Members of the House of Representatives, and states used a variety of methods for most of the nation's history. However, since 1970, every state has elected only one per district in a winner-take-all election, due to a federal law passed in 1967. After nearly half a century of exclusive use of single-winner districts, we need a new standard.
Elections under the single-winner district system are broken:
Elections are not competitive. More than 85% of U.S. House districts are completely safe for the party that holds them. and only 4% were true toss-ups in 2016. As a result, millions of Americans are perpetually represented by politicians they oppose, with little hope of changing things at the polls.
Outcomes are distorted. In 2016, Democrats would have needed to win the national vote by more than 12% just to earn a one-seat majority. In 2012, Democratic candidates won more votes than Republican candidates, but they won fewer seats. Many state delegations are even more skewed, as in Massachusetts, which elects 9 Democrats and 0 Republicans, even though 40% of its voters prefer the GOP.
Representatives are more polarized than voters. Voters in general elections must choose between polarized candidates selected by highly partisan primary voters, leaving moderate Americans without a route to representation.
A House elected in multi-winner districts with ranked choice voting would look very different:
Meaningful elections. By electing candidates from multi-winner districts with at least three seats each, fair representation voting would allow every voter to elect someone from the major party they support. And, more of each party's "big tent" would have the opportunity to support - and even elect - a candidate in the general election.
Accurate Representation. Because election results with ranked choice voting would be proportional within each district, the skewed outcomes of our current system would be a thing of the past. Voters that are now shut-out, like Republicans in Massachusetts or Democrats in Oklahoma, would win their fair share of representation. In every state, the number of seats earned by each party would align far more closely to their share of the vote.
A fair shot for moderates and independents. With proportional outcomes and a wider variety of candidates advancing to the general election, fair representation voting would reduce the outsized influence of partisan primary voters and empower the far larger and more representative electorate that participates in general elections. Like other groups, moderates would be empowered by the Fair Representation Act to win their fair share of representation.