Fair Representation Act Report

FRA_Report_Cover.pngThe Fair Representation Act report outlines a bold plan to increase competition and fairness in U.S. House elections and reduce polarization of Members elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. The report simulates the projected impact of HR 3057 - The Fair Representation Act, by analyzing a series of hypothetical district maps generated automatically by software using parameters meant to approximate the Act's district-drawing rules. Co-author Rob Richie presented a draft of this report at the Electoral Integrity Project short course at the national convention of the American Political Science Association (APSA) in San Francisco in August, 2017.

The Fair Representation Act, HR 3057, would transform House elections through three primary reforms: 1) ranked choice voting, 2) multi-winner districts, and 2) independent redistricting commissions. We show that a U.S. House elected under the Fair Representation Act would look very different:

Click on a topic to begin.

The Fair Representation Act Report can be downloaded here

Our interactive spreadsheet is available here

https://fairvote.app.box.com/embed/s/6yf48sytw0at22y617yjoyndu4xr58sq8005500

The Fair Representation Act in Your State

Under the Fair Representation Act, Congress will still be the same size it is now, but the districts will be larger and each will elect 3, 4, or 5 winners. When more than one person wins in a district, more voices in that district can be represented. With ranked choice voting, there will be no "red" or "blue" districts. Voters in the majority will elect most of the winners, but not all of them. Voters in the minority also get a seat at the table.

Below are examples of multi-winner district maps for every state. The states that elect 5 or fewer Representatives will have no districts and elect all statewide. States larger than that are divided into multi-winner districts that elect 3, 4, or 5 winners each. The analysis of each map assumes the state will use ranked choice voting, as required by the Fair Representation Act. Details about how each district map was drawn are below the table.

Click on your state to find out how the Fair Representation Act could transform representation in your state. 

Alabama Hawaii Massachusetts New Mexico South Dakota
Alaska Idaho Michigan New York Tennessee
Arizona Illinois Minnesota North Carolina Texas
Arkansas Indiana Mississippi North Dakota Utah
California Iowa Missouri Ohio Vermont
Colorado Kansas Montana Oklahoma Virginia
Connecticut Kentucky Nebraska Oregon Washington
Delaware Louisiana Nevada Pennsylvania West Virginia
Florida Maine New Hampshire Rhode Island Wisconsin
Georgia Maryland New Jersey South Carolina Wyoming

 

To create these maps, FairVote partnered with Kevin Baas, creator of the Auto-Redistrict program. The maps are computer-generated based on user-specified criteria. Because the maps are computer-generated, they cannot take into account communities of interest and other considerations that an independent redistricting commission would. Instead, the program attempted to draw districts that would keep counties intact. We do not claim that these are the actual districts that would be used under the Fair Representation Act. They are examples. We did not attempt to "put our thumb on the scales" to increase fairness in any of these.



Compare competition levels, likely partisan outcomes, and minority representation under five different district plans:

  • Fair Representation Act multi-winner districts (Fairvote.org)
  • Autoredistrict's single-winner districts, created according to an algorithm following strict criteria (Autoredistrict.org)
  • BDistricting's single-winner districts, created to optimize compactness and equal population (Bdistricting.org) 
  • The actual single-winner districts drawn after the 2010 Census (CY 2010 Actual)
  • The actual single-winner districts drawn after the 2000 Census (CY 2000 Actual)

1060720http://autoredistrict.org/all50/version3/CD_PRES/fv_interactive_map4.php0

Click here to see the projections.

Since 1997, FairVote has projected results in congressional elections relying principally on a simple partisanship metric with remarkable accuracy. This year, we applied that same methodology to making projections for a hypothetical Congress elected under our simulation of the Fair Representation Act.

With this online spreadsheet, you can adjust the "national two party preference" to see how each party would perform in every one of the districts under various hypothetical scenarios. The result is a map that closely tracks a proportional outcome.

Because our partisanship metric assumes a two-party system, this projection is not able to assess the impact of third party and independent candidates, nor can it give a meaningful sense of intraparty (same party) competition. Nonetheless, it does demonstrate how the new system can render proportional results within the two major parties to a far greater degree than the current system, as well as how it promotes greater two-party competition, and shared representation of majority and minority viewpoints in nearly every multi-winner district.

Join Us Today to Help Create a More Perfect Union