Monday, March 6, 2017

Ranked-Choice Voting Update

Ranked-Choice Voting (RCV) Highlights:

- Bipartisan Utah House votes 59-12 to support RCV for all Major Federal, State, and Local Elections in 2018. The Bill was introduced by a Democrat, but garnered more than 70% support from Utah House Republicans, including its Chamber Leaders. During debate on the Bill, one Legislator stated, “Ranked choice voting represents the future. Runoffs represent the past.”

Karen Brinson from the Ranked Choice Voting Resource Center (, a FairVote Project focused on helping with the Technical Details of RCV implementation, testified at a Utah Hearing in the Senate. The Committee deadlocked at 3-3 in advancing the Bill, meaning that it will not be passed into Law this year. However, Advocates remain optimistic for next year given this year’s progress.

- State Legislators in at least 24 States have introduced RCV Legislation, with impressive Bipartisan support: Bills in 11 States are sponsored by Republicans, while Bills in 13 States are sponsored by Democrats.

- Rob Richie, Cynthia Terrell, Krist Novoselic, and Dave Daley will talk about RCV at South by Southwest in Austin, TX.

- RCV is widely used among associations of all kinds. All of Canada’s Major Political Parties use RCV to elect their Leaders, including the Conservative Party this spring.

- Iowa Democrats used RCV to pick their State Chair.

- Arlington County (VA) Democrats will use RCV at their Firehouse Primaries in May to nominate Candidates for School Board and the Board of Supervisors.

- More than 50 American Colleges and Universities use RCV for Student Government Elections, including hotly contested recent ones at Georgetown and the University of Minnesota.

- Maine’s Supreme Court has been asked to provide an Advisory Opinion on the Legality of RCV for State offices under the State Constitution. FairVote’s pro bono partners Akin Gump and Hogan Lovells did excellent work in their brief, and an array of Maine Civic Groups and Legal Experts filed powerful briefs as well. Oral argument is in April, with Attorneys for the Committee for Ranked Choice Voting making the case for RCV.

FairVote Speakers at South by Southwest, Reason, and New York City.

FairVote Board Chair Krist Novoselic, Representation2020 Director Cynthia Terrell, Senior Fellow Dave Daley, and FairVote Executive Director Rob Richie will all be speaking at SXSW in Austin, TX in the coming week. Cynthia will speak at a Session on Representation of Women on Friday, Rob on Electoral College Reform on Monday, and Dave and Krist in a dialogue on Fair Representation Voting on Tuesday.

Dave Daley joins FairVote next week, but has been speaking all around the Country about Redistricting Reform, including talks in California, Iowa, North Carolina, and Ohio in the past month.

Cynthia headlined an event on her Representation2020 Project on March 5th that drew a large crowd, including Past and Current Members of Congress, Cabinet Secretaries and State Legislators.

Krist is speaking on Electoral Reform at Reason Magazine’s “Reason Weekend 2017” in Palos Verdes, California on March 11.

Rob is speaking on April 5th at CUNY in New York City in a forum on Fixing Elections: The Politics of Electoral Reform in NYC, Then and Now.

FairVote welcomes the addition of Author and Journalist David Daley as a full-time Senior Fellow to write about Reform and help guide their Communication team. Today also marks the start of Maria Perez’s Work Directing their FairVote New Mexico Project. Roman Montoya and Connie Schmidt are joining Ranked Choice Voting Resource Center this month as well. FairVote Veterans Steven Hill (Co-Founder of FairVote and author of such books as Fixing Elections and 10 Steps to Repair American Democracy) and Terrill Bouricius (former Vermont State Legislator) are now part-time Senior Fellows as well.

In the wake of November’s Congressional Elections, and in anticipation of introducing a Bill in Congress this summer, their Research Department has been busy crunching numbers and making the case for change.

Stay tuned for the release of Major Reports in the coming month on Fair Representation Plans for Congress, Redistricting Reform in the States, and the impact of County-Level Reform.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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