Voices & Choices

What’s Happening in Democracy Today (10-5-17 Edition)

What’s Happening in Democracy Today (10-5-17 Edition)

Who Will Justice Kennedy Believe When It Comes to Gerrymandering?, The New Yorker by: David Daley

FairVote Communications Director David Daley writes an analysis on Gill v. Whitford oral arguments.

“That leaves Kennedy as the decider, once again. It’s a familiar role: when the Court last considered partisan gerrymandering, in Vieth v. Jubelirer, in 2004, Kennedy made his disdain for the practice clear. However, as the swing vote on a similarly divided Court, he sided, reluctantly, with the conservatives. Kennedy found himself unsatisfied with the proposed guidelines for instructing courts or legislatures on how to separate one bad gerrymander from another—but he was open to future suggestions for standards.”

Democrats Could Split the Vote in Washington’s 8th Congressional District Race, Sightline Institute by: Kristin Eberhard

Kristin Eberhard writes about Washington’s Top Two open primary system, which allows voters to choose their favorite candidate regardless of party. She highlights that this is an improvement but does not prevent split voting from occurring. In this article, she references ranked choice voting and the Fair Representation Act.

Even better, imagine Washington elected more than one representative from a multi-member district. It could be a five-member district like the national Fair Representation Act proposes. Or it could be a three-winner district combining eastern Washington’s 4th, 5th, and 8th districts.

Maine has a way forward on ranked-choice  voting. Lawmakers should take it, Bangor Daily News by: Jill Ward

“Because ranked-choice voting can affect who runs for office, how they run and how they interact with voters during the campaign, it is imperative we find a solution before the 2018 election is in full swing — not after the votes are cast. If the Legislature does not act soon, we could face a heated battle over which system will govern our election.”

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