On May 26, Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, Georgia’s only Congresswoman, introduced the Voter Choice Act (HR 2690). The bill features a requirement that starting in 2008, all federal elections to elect a single winner would use instant runoff voting. It also would assist states with the costs of implementing IRV.
The bill would also permit states to use a proportional voting system for
multiseat congressional districts if they so choose.
[ More on the Voter Choice Act ]
In a representative democracy, the right of decision belongs to the majority, but the right to representation belongs to all. FairVote advocates for adoption of proportional voting systems for local and state elections, and for an informed debate about their merits for congressional elections.
Rep. McKinney Introduces Voter Choice Act
FairVote Supports Tanner Bill for Nationwide Independent Redistricting
Congressman John Tanner (D - Tennessee) was joined by FairVote's John Anderson and Ryan O'Donnell at a recent press conference to announce the introduction of Tanner's Fairness and Independence in Redistricting Act.
The bill would require state legislatures to establish independent commissions who would use neutral criteria in drawing district boundaries. It would also ensure that redistricting is conducted only once every ten years.
FairVote has hailed the bill not only as a means to strip partisan politics from the redistricting process, but also as a step towards fair universal standards for elections administration in general.
[ Read an Anderson article on the current state of redistricting ]
[ Read about H.R. 2642 on Thomas ]
Canadian Referendum Demonstrates Sweeping Mandate for Choice Voting
On Tuesday, May 17, the Canadian province of British Columbia held parliamentary elections and a referendum on whether to replace its antiquated plurality voting system with choice voting.
With record voter turnout of more than 1.6 million, voters overwhelmingly supported proportional voting. Although the reform initiative fell just short of the required 60% threshold, the campaign garnered an unambiguous yes-vote of 57.4%. It also won a majority of the votes cast in a remarkable 97% of districts from all over the province, with broad support in both rural and urban districts.
This near-perfect sweep occurred despite the limited resources of the reform initiative and strong opposition from the political status quo.
[More on the British Columbia election here].