FairVote supervised voter education and outreach for cumulative voting elections in Port Chester (NY), with its June 15 elections drawing major coverage in the New York Times and Associated Press -- and a turnout boost of 25% and first-ever wins for African American and Latino candidates, along with an independent. Instant runoff voting had a big month: a charter commission in Portland (ME) voted 10-2 to put IRV on the November ballot for mayoral races, IRV drew major coverage in the New York Times, FiveThirtyEight.com, FireDogLake and leading North Carolina newspapers, and Oakland is among cities gearing up for first IRV elections. In the United Kingdom, a national referendum to adopt IRV is planned for May 2011; the Commons recently used IRV for key internal elections, and the Labor Party is using IRV to elect its new leader.
FairVote also celebrated key state wins for its policy proposals. Delaware's state legislature passed voter pre-registration for 16-year-olds, and the New York State Senate passed the National Popular Vote plan (by 52-7) and a bill to establish an IRV pilot program. Additional National Popular Vote progress included landslide passage in the Massachusetts House, testimony by FairVote's Rob Richie in the District of Columbia in favor of the bill introduced by 11 of 13 city councilors and new FairVote research on startling disparities in campaign fundraising and spending in the 2008 presidential election. The National Popular Vote plan was backed in a New York Times editorial and by the League of Women Voters at its binannual national convention, where FairVote's Rob Richie led a workshop.
New FairVote writings included Richie's Washington Post oped on electing U.S. Senate vacancies and new EndGerrymandering.com blogposts by Patrick Withers on redistricting reform in the states and why winner-take-all forces some districts to "look funny". Much more on the FairVote twitter.