Hello there! I’m Adam, and I’m a communications intern here at FairVote. Though I am a first-year student studying government and statistics at Georgetown University, I originally hail from New York—home to the hapless New York Knicks, the majestic Empire State Building, the breathtaking Niagara Falls, and to both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. It is a place of beaches and mountains, of skyscrapers and silos, of concrete jungles and serene forests.
In my relatively short time on Earth, I have been fortunate to have had the opportunities to participate in protest marches, see a president inaugurated, interview my local state senator, and aid my congressman in constituent services. Because of these experiences, I believe in the power of government to do good.
But I know that everyone doesn’t feel this way. To many, the government seems like a nebulous entity that is always hovering over our shoulders but is never there when we truly need it. I believe that election reform, by making our government genuinely ‘by the people and for the people,’ can revitalize our perception of politics—making everyone feel like we have our own personal stake in the well-being of our government.
It is no secret that many citizens feel disenfranchised by our current political system. It is a system that—through gerrymandering, dark money, and general attrition—leaves many with a sense of powerlessness. When people are not faced with the dreary prospect of an incumbent running unopposed, they are often confronted with a stale two-candidate dichotomy.
Ranked choice voting (RCV), a reform that FairVote champions, changes that reality.
RCV invests people in the political process by ensuring that any votes cast for a third-party candidate are not “throwaway” or “protest” votes. It increases turnout by bringing people to the polls who would normally stay home in the belief that their votes (whether a Republican vote in a deep blue district or a Democratic vote in a red district) wouldn’t matter. Furthermore, it changes the tenor of our increasingly divisive and nasty political rhetoric by forcing candidates to run inclusive, issue-based campaigns in hopes of appealing to a wide swath of the electorate.
That is why I am so excited to join the FairVote team. By promoting the message of election reform—through RCV and other initiatives like the Fair Representation Act and anti-gerrymandering statutes—I hope to aid FairVote in its campaign of advancing election reform nationwide.