Tale of Two Primaries and How to Uphold Majority Rule

Posted on August 16, 2017

Next spring, states will start voting in primaries for the regularly scheduled congressional midterm elections in every state. On August 15, however, two states held primaries to fill vacancies -- for U.S. Senate in Alabama as the permanent replacement to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and for U.S House in Utah to fill Jason Chaffetz’ seat in the third congressional district. The outcomes were instructive for how rules matter -- with Alabama upholding majority rule and Utah allowing non-majority nomination winners -- and for why the nation should follow Maine’s ranked choice voting primaries with a close eye next June.

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A Strong Argument for Multi-Member Districts & Ranked Choice Voting in Georgia

Posted on July 25, 2017

On June 20, in a special election for Georgia’s 6th house district Karen Handel defeated Jon Ossoff, ending a campaign that had started almost the moment the 2016 campaign had ended. The whole country seemed to be paying attention to the first big contested race in the Trump era, which was portrayed as a precursor to 2018 congressional elections. In the end, the race was negative and grueling--with one of the final ads associating Ossoff with an “unhinged left” that endorsed the shooting of Representative Steve Scalise. But it didn’t have to be.

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Los Angeles City Election Turnout Projected to Hit Record Low. Would RCV Help?

Posted on March 16, 2017

Voter turnout in many city elections is hitting all-time lows. There is no single reason for such declines, evidence strongly suggests ranked choice voting (RCV) does not lead to lower turnout despite some claims to the contrary. Indeed, adoption of RCV has allowed cities to avoid primary and runoff elections that almost always had far lower turnout than the general election.

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How to Get Elected to Congress With Only 50,595 Votes

Posted on March 15, 2017

In the 2016 U.S. House election, Jim Bridenstine (OK-1) won reelection in a race with just 62,655 votes cast (or 8.1% of the district’s 2010 census population). Meanwhile, Ryan Zinke (MT) won his 2016 re-election bid with more than 507,000 votes cast, and earned more than five times as many votes as Bridenstein on his way to a victory that was (relatively) close. How can this be?

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