Voices & Choices

Multi member districts: a win for representation

Multi member districts: a win for representation

Single-winner districts lead to millions of Americans being underrepresented -- including blue-state Republicans, red-state Democrats, independents, women, and communities of color -- because they are locked into gerrymandered winner-take-all congressional districts that are consistently won by candidates of the plurality group. The Fair Representation Act (FRA) would create proportional multi member districts, solving this problem and improving representation across the political spectrum. 

In 2020, Republican candidates won 21% of the statewide congressional vote in Massachusetts but got no seats in Congress. This is because each congressional district in the state elects just one candidate, and the districts are drawn in such a way that Democrats hold the majority in every one. A similar situation played out in Nebraska, where Democratic candidates won 36% of the statewide congressional vote, but all of Nebraska’s congressional seats were won by Republicans. 

These examples highlight the fact that voters who are members of a state’s minority party often do not have their views represented by any of their legislators. By creating multi member districts, every state would have competitive seats in it, and all Americans would have a voice in Congress even if they don’t support the same party as their neighbors. 

The FRA implements ranked choice voting (RCV) in federal elections and creates larger, more diverse multi-winner congressional districts. The total number of U.S. House Representatives would stay the same, but they would either be elected statewide or in districts with 3-5 members. To see how multi member congressional districts would change the district lines and outcomes of elections in your state, view FairVote’s database here.

Frustration with single winner districts is a bipartisan problem, and the FRA is a solution. If you want to help pass the FRA in Congress, you can contact your legislators now.

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