The bi-weekly media roundup is a feature of FairVote’s communications department. While we have let it lapse for a month, we will be continuing the tradition moving forward.
FairVote closely tracks media coverage of electoral reform and ranked choice voting. Here are highlights from June 7 to July 18, 2019.
It’s time to bring ranked-choice voting to Mass. Commonwealth Magazine (July 17)
Massachusetts State Rep. Andy Vargas calls on Massachusetts to adopt ranked choice voting, citing its support across the political spectrum and research indicating it does not, in fact, confuse voters.
Ranked Choice Voting Could Solve the Farce of "Democratic Unity" Paste Magazine (July 16)
This op-ed, which speaks very highly of ranked choice voting, calls for RCV to be adopted at every level of government. It points out that RCV would allow 3rd parties to flourish, stopping intra-party squabbling and allowing politicians to build coalitions.
This one simple trick can make primaries a lot less annoying Alternet (July 14)
Hint: the simple trick is ranked choice voting! In this editorial, author Joshua Holland points out that, if the DNC mandated RCV in primaries nationwide, the presidential primary process would be less-drawn out, less contentious, and more representative of voters’ wishes. In the piece, he points to the success of RCV abroad and cites FairVote.
Steyer's impeachment solution is dead wrong Take Back America (via The Hill), (July 12)
This article, by conservative John Pudner, calls for instant runoff voting (single-winner RCV) to be adopted across America to make campaigns more positive, to save money on runoffs, and avoid electing candidates that nearly half of the population “hates.” A very good read.
At TheWrap’s Power Women Breakfast, RepresentWomen’s Cynthia Terrell called for the institution of fair voting reforms like ranked choice voting (among other reforms like a modified “Rooney Rule” for government), which would help rectify the current gender imbalance in government.
Notes on the State of Politics Sabato’s Crystal Ball (July 11)
Preeminent political scientist Larry Sabato reflects on the life of Ross Perot and his 3rd party bids (in 1992 and 1996) for the presidency. He provides proof that, contrary to the assertions of many Bush supporters, Perot drew support equally from Bush and Clinton. Nonetheless, if ranked choice voting had existed in those elections—particularly in ’92—we would have had a clear picture of which candidate had majority support.
Sabato also touches on newly-minted independent Justin Amash, who recently left the Republican Party amidst criticism of his backing President Trump’s impeachment. Sabato mentions that Amash is considering an independent presidential bid, which, much like Perot’s 3rd party campaigns, provides more support for adopting RCV in presidential elections.
How Iowa and Nevada will host virtual caucuses in 2020 CNN (July 10)
Democrats in Iowa and Nevada are both heeding the DNC’s call to make their elections more accessible by instituting a ‘virtual caucus’ to select a 2020 presidential nominee. While many details are still being ironed out, it appears the virtual caucuses will be conducted in the run-up to each state’s respective caucus and will utilize ranked choice voting to simulate a caucus environment.
Two ways to improve our presidential elections: RCV, NPV Minneapolis Post (July 10)
Author Eric Black was disappointed to learn that six of the last 14 presidential elections have been won by a candidate who did not receive a majority of the popular vote. He advocates for RCV and a National Popular Vote plan in presidential elections to ensure that the person elected to the highest office in the land is representative of the populace’s wishes.
Ranked Choice Voting Is On a Roll: 6 States Have Opted In for the 2020 Democratic Primary In These Times (July 9)
FairVote Senior Fellow David Daley pens an op-ed touting the six states—Iowa, Alaska, Hawaii, Kansas, Wyoming, and Nevada—that have adopted a form of RCV to select a Democratic nominee for president. He points to the success of the method in Maine and the fact that many major candidates have indicated their support for RCV as a cause for optimism.
The Primaries Ought To Have Ranked Choice Voting Hill Reporter (July 9)
Author Chris Walker calls for states to adopt ranked choice voting primaries to winnow the field of presidential nominees. He cites FairVote in noting that many states are already considering RCV in their presidential primaries and caucuses.
Empowering Voters With “Ranked Choice Voting” Colorado Boulevard (July 8)
A wonderful explanation of ranked choice voting, where RCV is used, and why RCV is necessary. Author Denise Robb, who wrote her doctoral dissertation on ranked choice voting, points out that RCV prevents low-turnout runoffs, ensures a candidate is elected with consensus support, and eliminates the ‘spoiler effect.’ She links to FairVote’s website to provide a list of municipalities that currently use RCV.
To Beat the Gerrymander, Think Outside the Lines New Republic (July 8)
FairVote Senior Fellow David Daley and University of Memphis law professor Steve Mulroy bring attention to the Fair Representation Act as a way to negate gerrymandering’s nefarious effects.
Author Kurt Couchman calls on Congress to enact federal ranked choice voting legislation to avoid a potential spoiler effect if independent Justin Amash decides to run for the presidency in 2020. He lauds RCV as an opportunity to allow a candidate to build a mandate and way to reveal true support for third parties.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand backs Ranked Choice Voting FairVote, via Equal Citizens (July 7)
At a July 7 Equal Citizens-sponsored forum in New Hampshire, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand expresses her support of ranked choice voting. Check out this short video of the Senator indicating her support!
Rob Richie on Election Reform and Gerrymandering CSPAN (July 5)
FairVote President and CEO Rob Richie appeared on CSPAN to discuss the recent Supreme Court decision on partisan gerrymandering, FairVote’s effort to push for nationwide ranked choice voting, and our push for the Fair Representation Act. Catch the full 45-minute video here.
New ballot initiative seeks to change state elections Anchorage Daily News (July 4)
A new ballot initiative proposes a top-4 system where Alaskans would be able to rank their support for multiple candidates. Alaska’s three-part initiative includes a provision that would mandate open primaries that would be conducted via ranked choice voting.
Ranked-choice voting has momentum and a track record of success The Fulcrum (July 3)
FairVote President and CEO Rob Richie and Senior Fellow David Daley pen an op-ed touting the amazing progress of ranked choice voting reforms in the past year. They touch on states—Maine and Kansas—and cities—NYC and Eastpointe, MI—that have embraced RCV, and note that some voters in more than 25 states will have the opportunity to cast an RCV ballot. They also mention that RCV is a key component of Rep. Beyer’s Fair Representation Act and hint that a national RCV bill is expected to be introduced in Congress later this summer!
For fairness vote against first past the post elections The Times (UK), (July 2)
British Labour Party MP Stephen Kinnock pens an op-ed denouncing tradition first-past-the-post, or plurality-style, elections. Instead, he calls for an election method that would lead to fairer representation for voters.
Former Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein calls for ranked choice voting in presidential elections to rid of our country of the “hysteria” that surrounds potential vote-splitting. She also believes RCV would encourage more citizens to vote.
The Supreme Court Won’t Stop Partisan Gerrymandering. Now What? Talking Points Memo (June 28)
In last week’s Rucho v. Common Cause decision, the Supreme Court ruled that federal courts cannot intervene to remedy partisan gerrymandering. Author Zachary Roth mentions a combination of ranked choice voting and multimember districts—the Fair Representation Act—as a potential solution, and he links to FairVote’s website.
Beyer’s Fair Representation Act would fix damage from Supreme Court gerrymandering decision Augusta Free Press (June 27)
Rep. Don Beyer, who first introduced the Fair Representation Act (FRA) in Congress, slams the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold states’ rights to engage in extreme partisan gerrymandering, calling for Congress to take up the FRA in response.
Easthampton makes push for ranked choice voting WWLP 22 News (MA), (June 25)
Easthampton, MA city officials are beseeching state lawmakers to let their city decide whether or not to institute ranked choice voting, which would only apply to mayoral and city council elections. Voter Choice Massachusetts is expected to lobby the legislature in hopes of getting a bill passed that would allow local municipalities to choose their own voting methods.
How ranked-choice voting would change New York City campaigns City and State NY (June 25)
A thorough analysis of the expected changes in NYC’s campaigns and elections resulting from the anticipated introduction of ranked choice voting in primary and special elections. Expected changes include a decrease in negative campaigning, increased cost savings, and candidate coalition-building. Common Cause NY’s Susan Lerner is quoted in support of RCV.
Ranked choice voting is a step in the right direction Wichita Eagle (June 23)
Professor Neal Allen and former FairVote intern Alejandro Arias-Esparza dissect the Kansas Democratic Party’s decision to adopt a ranked choice voting primary. They also delve into the potential implications of implementing RCV in Kansas’s municipal and statewide elections.
Author delves into the weeds of Virginia’s June 11 primary results to determine if results would have been different if jurisdictions used ranked choice voting to select a winner. While nothing is certain, the author highlights two races that may have swung—because a majority of voters appeared to split their votes among ideologically similar candidates, allowing a non-consensus candidate to win—if ranked choice voting were used.
2020 Democrat Bennet releases comprehensive government reform plan The Hill (June 20)
Michael Bennet, a 2020 presidential candidate hailing from Colorado, unveiled a sweeping anti-corruption and pro-voting-rights plan that includes ranked choice voting among other reforms like eliminating gerrymandering and disallowing elected officials to serve as lobbyists. To read more about the plan, see these articles in the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, the Muscatine Journal, the Washington Times, and Politico’s ‘Playbook PM’ newsletter.
Maine on the cusp of ranked-choice voting for president The Fulcrum (Updated June 20)
This article, originally published June 19, provides good updates on the state of the murky situation surrounding the adoption ranked choice voting for presidential elections in Maine. As the article notes, “A special session later this summer seems likely but is not guaranteed.”
A race for second place in Iowa? Dig deeper into the numbers The Hill (June 19)
“In Iowa, your vote truly counts.” –Rob Richie and David Daley
FairVote president and CEO Rob Richie and Senior Fellow David Daley, in this op-ed for The Hill, point out that a caucus has similarities to ranked choice voting, which is underscored by the fact that Iowa’s ‘virtual caucus’ will literally be conducted via ranked choice voting. In the editorial, they criticize the national media for not covering voters’ second choice candidates—because, in Iowa, voters’ second choices are crucial if the candidates they initially support become nonviable (below the 15 percent threshold for support).
Kansas Already Picked the First Winner of the Democratic Primary WhoWhatWhy (June 18)
Kansas Democrats have ditched their antiquated caucus system in favor of a ranked choice vote primary. The winner of this change? Voters. Kansas voters will now have the opportunity to have a greater say in the candidate selection process. This article favorably quotes Jason Harrow, executive director and chief counsel of Equal Citizens, and notes that RCV is, counter to the claims of its opponents, a very simple process.
What Is Rank Choice Voting? How Maine's Voting System Can Lead The Way To A Stronger US Democracy International Business Times (June 16)
Lawrence Lessig, founder of EqualCitizens.US, makes the case for ranked choice voting as a pro-democracy remedy by pointing to the 2018 success of RCV in Maine and by providing historical context for miscounted votes in previous national elections.
A chance for better elections in Lowell Boston Globe (June 16)
A Voting Rights Act settlement gives Lowell, MA a chance to adopt a new system of voting: this Globe editorial calls for the town to adopt a form of fair representation voting that utilizes the ranked choice method.
Kansas Democrats Dump Caucuses, Implement Ranked-Choice Voting Outside the Beltway (June 13)
OTB’s Doug Mataconis analyzes Kansas Democrats’ decision to abandon its traditional caucus system and instead adopt a ranked choice voting primary. He cites the success of RCV in Maine, which “went smoothly despite the protests of opponents,” as a reason for optimism in Kansas.
Start spreading the news: New York City charter commission adds Ranked Choice Voting to November ballot FairVote (press release), (June 13)
This November, New York City voters will have the opportunity to approve ranked choice voting in city-wide special elections and primaries after the NYC Charter Commission voted to recommend RCV. This new development, which comes exactly after a year after the Maine referendum win and first-ever use of RCV statewide, marks a milestone in the nationwide fight for RCV.
Instead of instituting arbitrary hard-to-reach thresholds for candidates that limit voter choice, FairVote Senior Fellow David Daley and University of Kentucky law professor Joshua A. Douglas have a novel solution: ranked choice voting. Their CNN op-ed calls for the DNC to follow the lead of state Democratic parties in Hawaii, Alaska, Kansas, Iowa, and Nevada in giving voters—not donor thresholds or polls—the ultimate say in choosing a presidential candidate.
Ranked choice voting could give KC better options Kansas City Star (June 12)
Larry Bradley of The Center Strikes Back calls for Kansas City to ditch its current first-past-the-post election system—one that has often yielded election winners who do not garner majority support—and instead adopt ranked choice voting. He urges his readers to pressure their representatives to support a bill introduced in the Missouri House of Representatives that would allow RCV in local elections.
Opinion: NYC Can Choose a Better Democracy With Ranked-Choice Voting City Limits (June 12)
Op-ed calling for the New York City Charter Revision Commission to approve ranked choice voting cites low turnout, a typically apathetic electorate, a need for consensus, and positive, issue-based campaigns as reasons to support the measure.
Elizabeth Warren sounds very open to ranked choice voting Boston.com (June 11)
Elizabeth Warren, in Ezra Klein’s podcast, cites ranked choice voting as a reform that gives her hope that the democratic process is ‘reinventing itself.’
American democracy movement on the rise The Fulcrum (June 10)
Article by Josh Silver, the director of RepresentUS, mentions the success of ranked choice voting in 2018 and the enthusiasm behind the Unrig Summit as reasons to be hopeful for the future of American democracy.
A comprehensive video—featuring Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Common Cause NY’s Susan Lerner—makes the case for the NYC Charter Commission to approve ranked choice voting in NYC.