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FAIRVOTES 2020 REFORM VISION

OUR DEMOCRACY IS IN CRISIS.


Respect for our democratic institutions has plunged to an all-time low. Winner-take-all election rules and restrictive primaries channel Americans diversity of views into two fiercely partisan camps that rarely cooperate on policy. By treating voting laws as tools for partisan advantage, incumbents put the right to vote at risk. Presidential campaigns ignore most Americans, and winning a majority of votes in congressional elections may not mean winning the most seats.

These problems extend to our states and cities. States increasingly suffer from entrenched single party domination, and more than a third of state legislative races are uncontested. Gubernatorial election turnout rarely tops fifty percent and mayors win with even lower and less representative turnout. At all levels of government, women and racial minorities are under-represented. FairVote goes to the root cause of our electoral dysfunction with a reform agenda grounded in the principle of respect for every vote and every voice. Our work is building the foundation for the following advocacy goals. vvv

2020

RESPECT EVERY VOTE

2020 GOAL: FairVote will lead a national movement for a truly representative democracy. Congress will end gerrymandering by passing a law that requires independent redistricting commissions to draw fair representation voting plans. Two states will adopt fair voting for legislative elections. The nation will honor the centennial of womens suffrage by backing new policies to promote womens representation.

Voting without a chance of fair representation is not real democracy. Every American should be able to elect preferred candidates, and our legislatures should reflect the people they represent.

Winner-take-all elections are dysfunctional in todays climate of partisan polarization. They can undercut the basic principle of majority rule and produce unrepresentative legislatures and unaccountable incumbents. We must replace winner-take-all systems with fair representation voting plans in ways consistent with our history and the Constitution. Our reform coalition will include women, racial minorities, supporters of independents and third parties, and major party backers seeking more representative legislatures and the ability to win seats everywhere.

To ensure voters will have real choices, fair representation and geographically coherent districts, FairVote will build support for a federal law to require the use of independent redistricting commissions to draw fair representation voting plans. We will help win fair voting for state legislative elections, and expand the use of fair voting to resolve voting rights cases. We will celebrate the 2020 centennial of womens suffrage by building support for policies to support the goal of women and men being equally likely to win in any given election.

6930 Carroll Avenue, Suite 610 Takoma Park, MD 20912 301-270-4616 www.fairvote.org | info@fairvote.org @fairvote | @fairvoteaction

RESPECT EVERY VOICE

2020 GOAL: FairVote will forge coalitions to make our votes count. States will enact the National Popular Vote plan and guarantee the White House to the popular vote winner. Three states will accommodate voter choice by adopting ranked choice voting for gubernatorial elections.
Our electoral rules should ensure our votes matter in every election. But plurality voting and current electoral college rules waste too many votes.

Our usual plurality voting system for single winner offices such as president, governor and mayor, break down when more than two candidates run. With more unaffiliated voters, we need to allow more challengers to run without spoiler fears and unrepresentative outcomes. Ranked choice voting (RCV) has won in a growing number of cities and is under serious consideration in states like Maine and Minnesota. FairVote will remove administrative barriers to RCV, create resources for advocacy and implementation, and partner with state and local reformers in strategic advocacy.

The National Popular Vote agreement is already law in states representing nearly half of the 270 electoral votes necessary for it to be activated in 2016. Once enacted, it will make every vote equal by guaranteeing election of the presidential candidate who wins the most votes in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. Since the reform campaigns launch in 2006, FairVote has been the research and education engine about problems with the current rules and the case for the National Popular Vote plan.
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2020

PROMOTE EVERY VOTE

2020 GOAL: FairVote will be the catalyst for a modern suffrage movement. A majority in Congress will support an affirmative right to vote in the Constitution. More than 1,000 localities and 20 states will pass resolutions to protect, promote and expand suffrage.
We need to affirm voting as a fundamental right and commit to protect, promote and expand suffrage. Recent battles over voting rights underscore the need for both an affirmative right to vote in the U.S. Constitution and widespread commitment to put the rights of voters ahead of partisan considerations. FairVotes Promote Our Vote campaign will lead to thousands of cities, campuses and organizations passing resolutions calling for an affirmative constitutional right to vote and committing to concrete actions to protect, promote and expand suffrage. FairVote will build support for a constitutional amendment, engage in effective communication and act as a clearinghouse for local action on suffrage.
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FairVote is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to elections that respect every vote and every voice. We act as an electoral reform catalyst to increase voter turnout, voter choice and fair representation. As the national organization most focused on structural reform of American elections, we pursue innovative research, analysis and communications to turn new ideas into widely accepted policy.

6930 Carroll Avenue, Suite 610 Takoma Park, MD 20912 301-270-4616 www.fairvote.org | info@fairvote.org @fairvote | @fairvoteaction