FairVote-The Center for Voting and Democracy had an eventful year 2004. Below are some of the highlights, month by month.
Rob Richie and Steven Hill publish Baltimore Sun op-ed on the right to
vote - first of more than 25 FairVote op-eds published in 2004.
Pacifica radio stations in Berkeley, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City and
Washington, D.C. use choice voting to elect listener boards. FairVote
staffers and former staffers administer the elections.
Sacramento Bee editorializes in favor of full representation. A FairVote release
shows few major democracies rely solely on winner-take-all voting.
Calif. Democratic Party adopts plank that supports consideration of IRV and
full representation. Wash. State Democrats will pass similar plank in
the midst of presidential primaries, major media outlets carry Richie-Hill op-eds on reforms for presidential nominations, including the Christian
Science Monitor and Baltimore Sun. FairVote staff and Board are
guests on many talk radio programs.
FairVote's chairman John Anderson writes op-ed on instant runoff voting (IRV)
that appears nationally, including the Philadelphia Inquirer.
State House of Representatives passes bill to allow the city of
Vancouver to implement IRV. ?Vancouver Columbian endorses IRV in editorial.
draws media coverage for Illinois project on IRV for primary elections.
It conducts a poll that simulates IRV in primary and shows majority support
for electing president with IRV.
to Vote Initiative program associate Andrew Kirshenbaum launches effort that
secures the support of 45 US House co-sponsors for HJR 28, legislation for a constitutional
right to vote.
CA votes 72%-28% to authorize IRV for city elections, with the backing of the
mayor, city council and civic groups like the League of Women Voters. FairVote
provides resources and advice.
?Jesse Ventura's Minnesota Independence Party
draws national media for using IRV in its caucuses, with a majority
supporting John Edwards.
New Jersey Law Journal endorses IRV in editorial.
a significant advance for IRV, FairVote's Steven Hill and Caleb Kleppner
play central roles in securing certification for ES&S voting equipment for
San Francisco's IRV elections. AccuPoll pledges to run IRV elections for free
issues reports on non-majority winners, turnout in presidential
primaries, and redistricting.
U-Minnesota students vote by three-to-one to adopt IRV. Dozens of
colleges and high schools hold elections with IRV and/or full representation.
Rob Richie's speech at news conference seeking citizen-run presidential
David Moon joins FairVote as program director. He appears on CNN to discuss
Rob Richie and John Anderson argue for full representation in Legal Times
analysis after Supreme Court upholds Pennsylvania gerrymander. Other FairVote
writings run in newspapers such as Washington Post and San Diego
Union Tribune. Washington Post columnist William Raspberry
advocates choice voting and features FairVote.
is the largest of many Texas jurisdictions to use full representation for
local school boards. A candidate of color again wins, as true in all three
of Amarillo's cumulative voting elections after all-white school boards under
winner-take-all. A study shows only 1% of voters cast invalid ballots.
More than 3,500 Utah Republicans use IRV at their state convention
to nominate congressional candidates and party officers and to narrow the
gubernatorial field to two finalists. The Provo Daily Herald recommends
using IRV for public elections.
Maine's governor signs into law a bill requiring a study of the feasibility of IRV
in Maine. FairVote submits detailed analysis to commission directors.
nine summer interns help conduct IRV and choice voting elections at
several events, including League of Women Voters conference.
helps online IRV elections for The Nation and Alternet, handling
more than 10,000 ballots.
Dakotans reject constitutional amendment to lift requirement that corporations
use cumulative voting. South Korea and Russia act to require cumulative
voting for their corporate boards. FairVote issues report on corporate
London elects mayor by IRV and city council by full representation. Scotland
decides to elect all city councils with choice voting form of full
representation. Papua New Guinea holds a very successful IRV election
for national seats.
FairVote analysis based on its Monopoly Politics report predicts where
women may gain or lose seats in House elections. It proves highly accurate.
candidates David Cobb (Green), Ralph Nader (independent) and Michael Badnarik
(Libertarian) all tout IRV and full representation.
board member and New Yorker writer Hendrik Hertzberg's new book Politics:
Observations and Arguments draws strong reviews. It highlights the case
for representation and IRV.
Washington Post publishes
op-ed defending full representation in Iraq. Both Iraq and Afghanistan
will use full rep. systems to elect their legislatures.
Rob Richie speaks on behalf of an initiative drive for IRV in Seattle
and Olympia, Washington. The Olympian profiles the kickoff.
Rob Richie and Steven Hill advocate IRV in the Nation and
publish op-eds supporting direct election of president and IRV. Contributors to
a Nation collection about the Democratic platform call for full
representation, (Lani Guinier), IRV ("Granny D" Haddock) and a constitutional
right to vote (FairVote board member Jamin Raskin).
holds well-attended events in Boston and Cambridge on the right to vote
and choice voting with Jesse Jackson, Reps. Jesse Jackson Jr. and Dennis
Kucinich, scholars Lani Guinier, Pippa Norris, Alex Keyssar and Ben Barber and writers Bob
John Nichols and Rick Hertzberg.
Portland Oregonian cites FairVote in editorial advocating IRV and full
Howard Dean's weekly column calls for IRV in presidential primaries. Dean
backed IRV for general elections during his presidential campaign.
Rob Richie publishes a chapter with Steven Hill on full representation
in Steps Toward Making Every Vote Count and writes three journal
articles: on IRV for Election Law Journal and on full representation
and building a democracy movement in the National Civic Review.
Rob Richie co-moderates C-SPAN debate among third party presidential
Los Angeles Times runs news article "SF Takes the Lead in New Voting
Method" During the fall news stories about IRV in San Francisco appear
in the New York Times ("New Runoff System has Rival Candidates
Cooperating"), Washington Post ("For voters, choice is as
easy as 1,2,3") and NPR.
groundbreaking analysis of House elections is cited regularly in
articles like Seattle Times' "Races for Congress are more like
The New York Times calls for direct election of the president and runs
editorials calling for stronger and better national voting standards. FairVote
is one of the editorial staff's regular sources of information.
(MN) forms task force to study fair election methods like IRV and choice
voting. Earlier, in year, the Minnesota state senate voted to allow
Roseville to use IRV in a special election.
Election Data Project documents rising lack of competitiveness in state
Novoselic, founding member of Nirvana and new FairVote board member, writes Of
Grunge & Government: Let's Fix This Broken Democracy. During his national book tour Novoselic speaks on CSPAN and at ten FairVote
outgoing African-American member of the Shelby County commission (AL) calls for
cumulative voting to maintain fair representation.
Wilmington Star News backs IRV for NC primaries
intensive study a British Columbia Citizens' Assembly on Electoral Reform
overwhelmingly votes to place choice voting on the 2005 ballot.
Jesse Jackson introduces two new bills to require IRV for all federal
offices and to elect the president directly by majority vote.
Board member Malia Lazu is a finalist in Showtime's reality TV show to
select a presidential candidate. Fellow FairVote board member Rashad Robinson
is her campaign manager.
Washington Post columnist William Raspberry quotes Rob Richie in advocating IRV for
releases analysis of state legislative races showing a rise in the
percentage of uncontested races to nearly two out of every five seats.
Richie speaks at Princeton and Duke. During year he speaks at other
schools like Harvard Law.
staffers appear on dozens of TV and radio programs on elections,
including on CNN and twice on national To the Point on NPR.
John Anderson's commentary recommending IRV and full representation runs in
the Chicago Tribune. Two new commentaries by Rob Richie and Steven
Hill run in several dailies and websites.
Election Day the Harvard Crimson comes out in favor of direct
election of the president with IRV.
San Francisco holds highly successful IRV election for seven city council
IRV wins by two-to-one in Burlington (VT) and Ferndale (MI). FairVote assists advocates
in both cities, and outlook is bright for IRV adoption. IRV also wins big in
advisory vote in Mass. district.
Washington Post editorial cites FairVote's election analysis, and Rob Richie's views
on reform are quoted in columns by the Washington Post's David Broder
and the New York Times' Nicholas Kristof.
board adds nine excellent new board members, all bringing great assets
Moon and Rob Richie write commentary that runs in several publications on how
to fix electoral problems in the 2004 presidential elections.
Hill publishes timely San Diego op-ed advocating IRV for future
Exit poll on IRV commissioned by San Francisco finds only 13% want to return runoff
elections. A FairVote analysis affirms value of going to IRV.
Rob Richie submits written testimony on how electoral problems
experienced by voters in Ohio illustrate the case for its Right to Vote
Initiative's common sense reforms to secure the right to vote.
FairVote is accepted as a new member of the Leadership Conference
on Civil Rights, the nation's oldest Civil Rights coalition.
Ryan O'Donnell is hired as FairVote's communications
director. FairVote's new website is scheduled for launch in early
The Political Empowerment Program schedule several
workshops in North Carolina that focus on the case for full representation and
FairVote mourns the passing in January of former Board member Wilma Rule, who
pursued groundbreaking research on how full representation elects more women.