THE WAY DEMOCRACY WILL BE
For Immediate Release
/ June 24th 2009

FairVote Applauds Introduction of FAIR Redistricting Reform Act

Contact: Paul Fidalgo - paul@fairvote.org
Billy Organek - borganek@fairvote.org
(301) 270-4646

FairVote's executive director Rob Richie today joined Congressmen John Tanner (D-TN), Mike Castle (R-DE), Allen Boyd (D-FL) and leaders with Americans for Redistricting Reform for a Capitol Hill news conference announcing a renewed push for The Fairness and Independence in Redistricting (FAIR) Act.

FairVote has been a national leader in promoting the need to reform our current redistricting practices. Richie praised backers of FAIR with this statement:

"We need the political will to create solutions in the public interest for how to draw district lines, and how to regulate problems like politically-motivated mid-decade redistricting. That effort should start with a drive in Congress to set standards for mid-decennial redistricting. Those worried about national parties breathing down the necks of state legislators to gain ongoing partisan advantage after each election should ask Congress to uphold its constitutional authority to regulate reapportionment and U.S. House elections.

"That's why FairVote has worked with Congressman John Tanner since he first developed The Fairness and Independence in Redistricting (FAIR) Act to establish minimum guidelines for states to follow in establishing district lines. National legislation avoids the partisanship that often impedes state-by-state efforts. Congressman Tanner deserves great credit for his commitment to this goal.

"We ask our supporters to praise backers of this legislation and urge consideration of provisions that would provide states with the power to draw multi-seat district plans. Our redistricting crisis is partly due to elected leaders having unchecked power to draw districts, but also due to the winner-take-all, all-or-nothing nature of single member districts. Used already in a growing number of American cities, multi-seat district voting methods like choice voting and cumulative voting are valuable tools to accomplish simultaneously all the goals we seek in redistricting reform - fair representation for communities of interest, voter choice for all and accountable leadership."

FairVote (www.fairvote.org) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that studies the impact of electoral rules and systems on turnout, representation and electoral competition. For comments on this issue contact:

Rob Richie, Executive Director -- Frequent media source on redistricting reform and fair elections
John Anderson, Board Member -- Former Member of Congress and presidential candidate