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Big Win for Voter Pre-registration in CA
Advances in MA and RI
On October 11, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a voter pre-registration measure spearheaded this year by the New America Foundation and backed by FairVote, Common Cause, Californians for Electoral Reform and many others. It establishes that all Californians turning 17 can register to vote. Voter pre-registration measures allowing 16-year-olds to pre-register have also become law in recent years in North Carolina and Florida. A member of the Massachusetts statehouse leadership announced last week that a similar measure is her top priority in coming weeks, and the Washington, D.C. City Council last week unanimously backed pre-registration legislation.

FairVote's work pushing pre-registration since 2005 is also making a big difference in Rhode Island, where a major canvassing effort (the “Make it Happen” campaign) is underway in support of pre-registration. A Pew Charitable Trusts research team currently is examining the impact of pre-registration on FairVote's goal of universal registration of all soon-to-be-eligible voters, ideally twinned with civic programs explaining voting mechanics and the history of suffrage.

Front page, New York Times: IRV over Low-Turnout Runoffs
Instant runoff voting is increasingly recognized as a practical and cost-efficient way to replace low-turnout runoff elections. In New York City, the low turnout in Democratic primary runoffs and the potential of IRV made front page news in the New York Times, and FairVote’s Rob Richie advocates IRV in another Times piece. IRV also has gained more support in commentary for elections in Los Angeles and Long Beach, California, as well as in the Detroit Free Press.

Voter Choice Massachusetts has a website promoting a petition drive to get IRV on the Bay State’s ballot next year, and the Trenton Times has commentary touting IRV for its multi-candidate race for governor.  In Minnesota, Minaneapolis readies to use IRV for local elections for the first time, and twin city St. Paul decides on IRV on its own November ballot. Internationally, British prime minister Gordon Brown is pledging a national referendum on IRV.


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Featured Media:

August 10th 2009
Commentary: A cure for the political nomination process
Cleveland Plain Dealer

FairVote's Rob Richie and Paul Fidalgo offer a way to give everyone a say in presidential nominations while retaining the valuable state-by-state evaluation process. This piece also ran in McClatchy's newswire.

October 29th 2009
Plurality voting rule is the real election spoiler
Baltimore Sun

In the midst of 3-way races in NJ and NY, FairVote board member and 1980 presidential candidate John Anderson makes the case for IRV over our flawed plurality system.

October 19th 2009
A better election system
Lowell Sun

Election expert Doug Amy explains how choice voting can "inject new blood" into the elections of Lowell (MA), and give voters a greater incentive to participate.

October 19th 2009
Mandatory Voting? Automatic Registration? How Un-American!
Huffington Post

President of Air America Media, Mark Green, explains why Instant Runoff Voting, Automatic Registration and Mandatory Voting are not only important but could lead to a more democratic society.