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And the Oscar for best voting system goes to . . . IRV!
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science will use instant runoff voting to award the Oscar for Best Picture in 2010, ensuring that the most celebrated movie of the year is one with strong support among Academy members.

Academy voters already appreciate the value of ranking candidates. Since the 1930s, the Academy has used the choice voting method of proportional voting to nominate five films for best picture, but since 1946 has used plurality voting to pick the winner -- probably to encourage upset wins. In 2010, the number of nominees for Best Picture will rise to ten. While plurality voting would theoretically allow a film to take home the Oscar despite being potentially disliked by 89% of voters, with IRV the Best Picture winner is sure to be preferred by a large share of Academy members.

Update: The Producers Guild of America on September 22nd announced that it also was doubling the number of slots for its Producer of the Year Award to 10 and will have its voters use instant runoff voting to choose the winner in January.


North Carolina Adopts Youth Preregistration
New law includes high school civics standards
North Carolina governor Bev Perdue signed H.B. 908, an election reform bill that includes the FairVote-endorsed policy of youth preregistration and improved opportunities for voter registration in high schools. Following Hawaii and Florida, North Carolina becomes the third state to set a uniform voter registration age of 16-years-old. The bill passed the House and the Senate by votes of 107-6 and 32-3, respectively.

The new law takes effect January 1, 2010 and allows 16 and 17-year-olds to "preregister" to vote, including a provision requiring schools to provide voter registration opportunities to students in public schools every year. The bill also encourages schools to expand voter registration in schools by working with local boards of election. Youth preregistration bills have been introduced in several other states this year, including Arizona (HB 2384), California (AB 30), Kansas (HB 2256), Maryland (SB 671), Michigan (SB 61), Rhode Island (SB 5005), Washington (HB 1193) and the District of Columbia (Bill 18-345). 

[Bill Information: HB 908]
[FairVote North Carolina Registration and Education Project]
[Youth Preregistration Fact Sheet]
[FairVote Ally Democracy NC]

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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.