August 04, 2015
FairVote is pleased to partner with Civinomics to launch a new tool for understanding electoral politics and voter inclinations in multi-seat contests across the United States. Our ranked choice voting (RCV) application allows users to rank candidates in order of choice. With the large Republican presidential field dominating attention around which of the 17 candidates will be included in the first presidential debate, the need for comprehensive polling tools to understand voter preferences is essential. FairVote and Civinomics are launching the RCV tool for two important contests: the Republican presidential candidate field and the Democratic presidential candidate field.
Civinomics and FairVote share a strong desire to give communities the best possible forms of government -- and that begins with how we conduct elections. “A ranked choice poll,” Rob Richie, Executive Director of FairVote notes, “provides clarity about which of the top candidates has the broadest support.” Manu Koenig, Founder & CEO of Civinomics believes that it is important for voters “to have all the voting tools possible to determine the best outcome for their group, community or government.”
The app allows users to rank candidates and cast a ballot for the particular contest. Once the ballot is submitted, users can view the results of a contest.
One of the unique features of the tool is the interactive results display that allows users to view RCV counts round-by-round and eliminate candidates to see how how the departure of that candidate impacts others still in the contest.
Ranked choice voting (RCV) ensures that the voice of voters is heard. Current voting methods and too often political polling data only considers a voter’s first choice. Using RCV, voters rank as many candidates as they want in order of preference. After adding up all the first choices, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated. Voters whose first choice candidate is eliminated have their vote added to the total for their second choice. This process continues until two candidates remain, the candidate a majority of the active votes wins.
When voters are able to rank candidates, they have the freedom to choose the candidates that truly represent them. This maximizes the power of voters and choice among candidates, and upholds a fundamental principle of representative democracy that is of, for, and by the people.
We are encouraging civic organizations, political pollsters, journalists, and policymakers to try our new app. FairVote is showcasing the app this week at the annual convention of the National Conference of State Legislatures and next month at the annual convention of the American Political Science Association. Later this month, an "all-party" presidential contest will be released that includes Republican, Democratic, and independent candidates/parties; in addition to a version of the app for the general public that allows any registered user to create their own contests.
For more information on this tool, please contact Michelle Whittaker, Director of Communications at (301) 270-4616
FairVote is a nonpartisan non-profit organizations that seeks to makes democracy fair, functional, and representative by developing the analysis and educational tools necessary for reform advocates to win and sustain improvements to American elections.
Civimonics is social and civic engagement site. Their mission is to strengthen the democratic process by making it easier for people to get involved and implement solutions that improve their communities.