The Potomac Compact

The Potomac Compact

On February 5, 2016, Maryland state senator Jamie Raskin introduced an example of an interstate compact for fair representation, which he called the Potomac Compact for Fair Representation. Delegate Al Carr reintroduced the Potomac Compact on January 30, 2017. 

Under the Potomac Compact, Maryland and Virginia (if it also passed the compact) would each send citizens to a joint independent redistricting commission. That commission could then implement a multi-winner district plan: Maryland would divide into two districts, each electing four; Virginia would divide into three districts, two of which elect three and one of which elects five. Within those districts, voters would use ranked choice voting or another fair representation voting method.

Our analysis suggests that such a plan would allow voters in every part of both states to elect candidates from the major party they prefer. With ranked choice voting, every voter would be in a meaningfully contested election, and the outcomes would be far more fair than they are in either state now. It could do all that for both states without changing the overall partisan impact for either political party, making it a safe political choice for both states.

On March 3, 2016, FairVote testified in Maryland in favor of the Potomac Compact for Fair Representation.

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