Our Story

FairVote has a 30-year legacy of getting to the root of what’s wrong with our democracy and catalyzing change -- asking the big questions while looking for viable answers. We were founded in 1992 in Cincinnati, Ohio by scholars, advocates and former elected officials committed to finding practical ways to advance ranked choice voting and American forms of proportional representation. We study these problems, develop practical solutions, and prove those solutions are possible by working with national, state and local partners to advance reforms that result in fairer elections. 

Marie C. Wilson, "I love FairVote in that we're dealing with structural issues."

Take our leadership on ranked choice voting, one of our nation’s most talked about reforms. Nearly ten million voters are able to rank candidates in local or federal elections -- this is an expansion of nearly seven times the number of voters with access to this reform over a decade, including its adoption statewide in Alaska and Maine. FairVote brought ranked choice voting to the 2020 Democratic primaries, where five states used ranked choice voting to select presidential candidates and, despite a global pandemic, ranked choice voting proved overwhelmingly easy and popular for voters. FairVote is now the top authority on ranked choice voting in the country and advises state and national partners on its uses and implementations, from small towns in Utah to New York City.

FairVote has a history of successfully helping to win support for the Fair Representation Act and ranked choice voting from leading Americans, from editorial desks to academics to elected officials across the political spectrum.

FairVote is also a leading research institution that you can count on for innovative, authentic facts and analysis. For more than two decades we have published Monopoly Politics reports every two years, introducing the partisan index and changing the national conversation about noncompetitive elections to focus on structural reform. On November 9, 2018, we called the winners in over 80% of House elections set to take place more than two years later in 2020. We research runoff elections, ranked choice voting elections, primary elections, and redistricting and gerrymandering. We are a national authority in the subject of faithless electors, voter turnout, election recounts, the electoral college, and other issues that help shape our democracy.

Today, the cracks in America’s democracy are evident -- if we don’t enact massive, systemic reforms soon, we run the risk of our democracy falling apart altogether.

At the same time, ranked choice voting is in the midst of a viral moment. After 30 years of advocacy, we’re witnessing significantly greater public interest in better political choices -- and there is increasing influencer appreciation of the Fair Representation Act.

Anita Earls, "The Work that FairVote does on proportional voting is so valuable, because it's one of the most important ways we can improve how democracy works."

Looking forward, we’re focused on expanding ranked choice voting through strategic policy innovations, national communications work and support for local and state reformers and on bringing a new focus to transformative change through the Fair Representation Act. It’s ambitious, but change is an imperative: it’s the only way to reward our leaders for better representing all Americans. We expect impactful wins every year, and in this time of crisis, a national win through Congress within the decade.

We have three core strategies. First, we are strengthening relationships in Congress and earning support for changes that help expand ranked choice voting. Second, we are building a diverse national coalition of organizations, thought leaders and elected officials committed to comprehensive reform. Third, we’re accelerating ranked choice voting’s momentum through national media coverage, progress in legislatures and support for state partners.

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