- Why Reform?
- Gerrymandering Reform Innovations
Gerrymandering Reform Innovations
FairVote’s proposals that most directly speak to this problem zero in on changing statutory laws for how we hold elections.
- Require all House Members to be elected by ranked choice voting, which creates incentives for them to reach out to more voters in the general election in order to win;
- Require all states with more than one Member to use multi-winner districts that gives voters the power to elect representatives for the left, center and right (including Democrats and Republicans) in every district;
- Draw districts with independent redistricting commissions.
States can also make changes right now to promote the goals of the Ranked Choice Voting Act. For example, one proposal would have state enter into an "Interstate Compact for Fair Representation." This would be a contract between two or more states that would each agree to elect using ranked choice voting in multi-winner districts drawn by independent redistricting commissions.
State Legislative Elections: State legislatures also would benefit from state versions of the Ranked Choice Voting Act, with the same combination of reforms. Maryland, for example, could apply ranked choice voting in both the primary and general elections from existing three-winner districts used to elect most members of its House of Delegates.
“Districts Plus” is an another innovation to address partisan gerrymandering in state legislatures. It is a mixed member voting system where most legislators are elected from single-winner district drawn by commissions based on public interest criteria, and some additional members are elected from “accountability seats” to ensure that the votes for the candidates of each party are reflected accurately in the overall composition of the legislative chamber. This would mean every district would be contested meaningfully because every vote in every district would affect overall representation. It also would mean if a party’s candidate won more votes, they’d always get more seats, and a party with five percent of the vote would earn five percent of the seats.
To find out about redistricting reform within winner-take-all voting rules, see the work of groups such as Common Cause and the Bipartisan Policy Center.
Local Elections: Ranked choice voting in at-large local elections can avoid the pitfalls of both winner-take-all at-large elections and of district or ward-based elections. Over 200 jurisdictions in the United States use non-winner-take-all voting rules in at-large elections to promote fair representation of minority viewpoints.