South Carolina voters better enjoy it while it lasts

Posted on January 20, 2012

With the South Carolina primary just around the corner on Saturday, the preferences of South Carolina voters are of intense interest to the nation -and of course to the candidates swarming the states. Events, polls, debates and the media are all focused on South Carolina voters. But after Saturday? Forget it. 

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RCV for the GOP: Mitt Romney, Fractured Conservatives, and the Importance of Rules in Determining Election Outcomes

Posted on January 13, 2012

Some conservatives wonder how Mitt Romney has become the favorite for the nomination in a Republican party moving rightward. Others embrace Romney. One problem for believers of both views is the plurality voting rule that means winners don't have to secure a majority. Plurality voting arguably has been negative for all parties involved in the nomination race—whether Romney or his more conservative challengers. The solution, FairVote argues, lies in the adoption of an alternative framework:  ranked choice voting.

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No More Gerrymanders: Congressional Representation in the Seven At-Large States

Posted on December 30, 2011

Though spared the controversies of congressional redistricting, winner-take-all rules still plague the seven at-large states (Alaska, Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming). Nowhere are the shortcomings of our voting system more acute than in at-large winner-take-all races, where one individual is - rather astonishingly - responsible for representing the political and demographic diversity of an entire state. Read our latest critique of winner-take-all elections and our analysis of congressional elections in these at-large states.

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Egypt: The Military Struggles to Maintain its Legitimacy

Posted on December 12, 2011

Amidst controversies and protests, Egypt last month held the first in a series of elections for a new parliament. FairVote has covered the region's moves toward representative democracy in our Arab Spring series. Here’s the first of a series of posts analyzing the elections, starting with a focus on the state country before the voting last month.

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Presidential Tracker: Looking at the Structure

Posted on December 01, 2011

Tracking the president's events and visits doesn't produce surprises considering the electoral system under which he operates, but it does provide insight into the inadequacies of our current structure -- affirming that the rules have a direct correlation on the outcomes.

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Understanding how the Iowa caucuses work — and don't work

Posted on December 01, 2011

The national media is in a frenzy about the Republican contest in tonight’s Iowa caucuses. Unfortunately, most journalists seem to be getting the story wrong – and a key reason is not understanding or even thinking about the rules and their implications.

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Democracy Lost: the Iowa Caucus, the New Hampshire Primary, and the Shortchanging of American Presidential Politics

Posted on November 23, 2011

Although balloting in the 2012 Republican nomination battle has just begun, the race already appears to be over after just two contests:  Iowa and New Hampshire. Such a result, in which the vast majority of the nation's voters are reduced to irrelevancy by an abbreviated primary process, is the newest chapter in a disturbing narrative of democratic ideals lost. Unlike most commentators, FairVote examines the preeminence of Iowa and New Hampshire with a critical eye, asking why two states with a combined 1.4% of the national population should possess a stranglehold on American presidential politics.

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Tunisians Hold Arab Spring's First Vote

Posted on November 04, 2011

 The election is seen as a democratic success for new Tunisia, with some 4.1 million registered voters voting to select the members of the Constituent Assembly – using a method of proportional representation that ensured nearly every participant elected someone, and no one faction earned the winner-take-all power to dominate other factions.  Tunisians have fulfilled their duty peacefully and with great pride, whether in the capital or in provincial towns. European Union observers saluted the election’s “transparency.” Clearly, the strong desire of Tunisians to be governed by democratically elected authorities guided the electoral process.   

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