Voices & Choices

Election Day at FairVote

Election Day at FairVote

Today is Election Day in much of the country, including city elections, statewide ballot measures and gubernatorial and state legislative elections in Virginia and New Jersey. If you have an opportunity to vote, please consider doing so -- our representative democracy starts with all of us.

It’s been a busy fall at FairVote - and an historic one for ranked choice voting. Here are highlights:

RANKED CHOICE VOTING IN RECORD 31 CITIES

Ranked choice voting today will decide elections in 31 cities - a record. FairVote surveyed this historic set of RCV elections  and our insights were included in this recent overview in the Fulcrum.

Utah leads the way, with 19 cities having multi-candidate contests, many for mayor. Its most high-profile uses include city council elections in Salt Lake and hotly contested elections in two other large cities, Sandy and Lehi.

Other major RCV elections include: 

  • Mayoral races in Minnesota’s two largest cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis
  • Contested contests in two of New Mexico’s three largest cities and Maine’s largest city
  • The proportional form of ranked choice voting -- the gold standard for legislative elections -- for elections in Eastpointe (MI), Cambridge (MA) and Minneapolis.

Track FairVote’s coverage of all RCV elections on Twitter and Facebook, as well as those of reform allies like FairVote MinnesotaVoter Choice MassachusettsDemocracy MaineCommon Cause New Mexico and Utah RCV.

2021’S BIGGEST ELECTIONS FEATURED RCV

The national media has given the most election coverage this year to the election of a new governor in Virginia and a new mayor in New York City. The Democratic nominee in New York City won in a ranked choice voting primary that drew a near-record city turnout, while the Virginia Republicans’ gubernatorial nominee won in a 7-way ranked choice voting nomination contest. See FairVote’s coverage of the New York City primaries and Virginia GOP contest.

GERRYMANDERING EXPOSES FLAWS IN WINNER-TAKE-ALL

Delays in the arrival of Census data meant a busy autumn for redistricting. Predictably, the news is full of partisan gaming of the process and predictions that most states will end up with ever fewer competitive races than ever and too often provide representation closer to a funhouse mirror than a fair reflection of the people. FairVote consistently highlights what’s broken and the better way represented by the congressional Fair Representation Act, including in this guest essay  by our senior fellow David Daley in the New York Times, and this commentary David and I had in more than 25 publications.

CONGRESS CAN ENABLE BETTER ELECTIONS

Congress has introduced at least seven bills advancing ranked choice voting, including the Fair Representation Act by Rep. Don Beyer,  the Voter Choice Act by Senators Michael Bennet and Angus King and comprehensive bills on voting rights and electoral reform that have passed the House and been introduced in the Senate. My recent widely-published commentary lifted up a key point about our history of congressional action on voting: “Claiming that Congress should sit on its hands is wrong. If our elected leaders have good-faith reasons to vote against the Freedom to Vote Act and even the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (VRAA), they should make those objections heard. Indeed, not only do this year’s bills deserve an up-or-down vote, but Congress should look to the future, with the Fair Representation Act as the most comprehensive path to make House elections fairer.”

The VRAA will receive a Senate vote this week. As raised powerfully in the National Nonpartisan Conversation on Voting Rights in Denver, where I spoke last month,  the VRAA’’s protection of fair accessibility is in the proudest tradition of our nation, and is of irreplaceable importance for protecting fair access and voice for voters. It deserves our support.

RANKED CHOICE VOTING ON THREE CITY BALLOTS

Voters this year have already approved two ranked choice voting ballot measures. RCV has a perfect record in the last 10 cities to vote on RCV in 2019-2021,  with an average winning percentage of more than 65% of the vote. Three more RCV ballot measures are on the ballot today, as detailed on our RCV ballot measure resource page: in Broomfield, Colorado; Ann Arbor, Michigan; and Westbrook, Maine. If you know anyone in these cities, let them know to vote yes - and follow the results as they come in at FairVote.

ANDREW YANG MOVES FORWARD WITH RCV

Andrew Yang’s new book Forward is a great read about his bid for president, his advocacy impact with Humanity Forward, and his call for a new political movement outside the major parties. Just as he brought the nation’s attention to universal basic income, he lifts up ranked choice voting in particular and already is working with national groups like our FairVote Action arm and state groups to advance their goals.

NEW WEBINAR SERIES AND WEBSITE REVAMP

We are finalizing plans for a new webinar series that will kick off this month with a rundown of the November election results and continue with leading speakers and analysts in the spirit of our spring webinar series that drew thousands of viewers. Our advocacy partner FairVote Action is adding a new slate of board members and in January, we will unveil a brand new look for our FairVote.org website and a new site for FairVoteAction.org  --  all part of our determination to join with our reform partners to win our core goals: Ranked choice voting for all notable elections across the nation and the Fair Representation Act in Congress. 

Happy Election Day - and voting!

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