Friday, April 13, 2018

Legislators Talk New Data on Electoral Reform

Yesterday, FairVote hosted a Briefing on Capitol Hill which featured New Public Opinion Data on Three Key Electoral Reforms:

- Ranked-Choice Voting (RCV)
- Multi-Member Districts
- Congressional Redistricting with Nonpartisan Commissions

Three Members of Congress, Rep. Don Beyer (D, VA-8th District), Rep. Jim Cooper (D, TN-5th District), and Rep. Jamie Raskin (D, MD-8th District), were joined by FairVote Executive Director Rob Richie and FairVote New Mexico Director Maria Perez at the Event, convened for Hill Staffers, Members of the Press. and Reform Activists.

A New Survey of Voters reveals Majority Support for Three Key Electoral Reforms that would give Voters a greater Voice at the Ballot box and more Fair Representation in Government, while tempering the Partisan Rancor that Dominates American Politics.

It finds Support for Major Changes to the way Americans Elect Members of Congress, including RCV, Multi-Winner Districts, and Citizen Redistricting Commissions, which are the Three Pillars included within the Fair Representation Act (HR 3057).

The Study was conducted by the University of Maryland’s Program for Public Consultation, and the Results were Released at a Briefing on Capitol Hill.

All Three Proposals were seen as at least Tolerable by more than Two-Thirds of Respondents, including Super-Majorities of Republicans and Democrats. Not surprisingly, given the Outcry over Partisan Gerrymandering in recent months and Two Cases currently under review by the U.S. Supreme Court, Redrawing Congressional District Lines with Nonpartisan Citizen Commissions is Supported by the Largest Number of Voters at 66%, including 53% of Republicans, 80% of Democrats, and 62% of Independents.

RCV, the Election Method that allows Voters to Rank Candidates in order of Preference, is favored by 55% of Respondents, including 46% of Republicans, 64% of Democrats, and 55% of Independents.

Multi-Winner Districts are favored by 55% of Respondents. This includes 44% of Republicans, 66% of Democrats, and 54% of Independents. Such Districts combined with RCV, would facilitate Candidates getting Elected by Constituencies normally Shut Out in the current Single-Winner District Configuration, more Republicans Elected in States like California and Massachusetts, more Democrats Elected in States like Oklahoma and Tennessee, and more Women and People of Color across the Country.

“It’s encouraging to see that voters are ready to embrace these proposals even as many are still learning about them,” said FairVote Executive Director Rob Richie. “Americans want more fair representation, a stronger democracy, and a more responsive government that works together for the common good. These three proposals – all components of the Fair Representation Act – are essential for us to get there.”

The In-Depth Survey was conducted Online and it provided Respondents with a Background Briefing on the Issues as well as strongly-worded Arguments for and against each Proposal. Before asking Respondents for a Final Recommendation on the Question, they were asked to assess each Proposal as Acceptable, Tolerable, and Unacceptable.


- 70% of Voters responded with a Positive Evaluation, 52% Acceptable, 18% Tolerable, and 29% Unacceptable.

- 78% of Democrats have a Favorable View, 59% Acceptable, 19% Tolerable, and 21% Unacceptable.
- 70% of Independents have a Favorable View, 52% Acceptable, 18% Tolerable, and 30% Unacceptable.
- 62% of Republicans have a Favorable View, 44% Acceptable, 18% Tolerable, and 37% Unacceptable.

Nonpartisan Congressional Redistricting by Citizen Commissions

Nationally, a very strong Majority of Voters have a Positive Assessment:

- 80% find the Proposal Favorable.
- 62% calling it Acceptable.
- 18% Tolerable.
- 19% Unacceptable.

- 70% of Republicans hold a Positive View, 53% who find the Proposal Acceptable, 17% Tolerable, and 29% Unacceptable.

- Eight-in-Ten Independents hold a Favorable Assessment, including 61% Acceptable, 19% Tolerable, and 20% Unacceptable.

Multi-Member Districts

- Received an equally Strong Assessment Nationally: 50% Acceptable, 21% Tolerable, 27% Unacceptable.

- More than Six-in-Ten Republicans, 65%, view it Positively, 43% Acceptable, 22% Tolerable, and 34% Unacceptable.

- 78% of Democrats hold a Favorable View, 56% Acceptable, 22% Tolerable, and 20% Unacceptable.

- Nearly Seven-in-Ten Independents, 68%, have a Favorable View, 48% Acceptable, 20% Tolerable, and 28% Unacceptable.

The survey was conducted with a National Probability-based Sample of 2,482 Registered Voters, provided by Nielsen Scarborough. It was fielded Sept. 7th – Oct. 3rd, 2017, with a Margin of Error is +/- 2.0 percent.

NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker
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