CVD homepage
What's new?
Online library
Order materials
Get involved!
About CVD

Electoral System Reform In the News

Full representation (also known as proportional representation, or "PR") and instant runoff voting (IRV) have received steadily increasing media attention in the last decade. Following are some of the best articles and commentaries.

Baltimore Sun: (MD) CVD's Eric Olson discusses Maryland's remapping and how PR could help-"Ugly redistricting map spotlights system's flaws." December 27, 2001

Rutland Herald: (VT) Front-page story about efforts supported by the League of Women Voters and the Vermont Secretary of State to promote instant runoff voting for statewide elections-"Runoff election advocated." December 27, 2001

Los Angeles Daily News: CVD's Dan Johnson-Weinberger and Evelyn Jerome discuss the L.A. city council's March runoff and the benefits of instant runoff voting-"Runoff vote can be done better, faster." December 20, 2001 CVD's Director discusses the new election reform legislation, what it won't do for democracy, and what instant runoff voting could-"Rescuing Democracy In America: Why a Loser Gets to Run the Country." December 19, 2001

San Francisco Chronicle: (CA) Story on the cost of San Francisco's recent runoff election, and the alternative, instant runoff voting-"Record-low vote came at high price." December 13, 2001

San Francisco Examiner: (CA) Discussion of the low voter turnout in the recent runoff and instant runoff voting as a solution-"Instant runoff system touted." December 13, 2001

San Francisco Examiner: (CA) Editorial in favor of using instant runoff voting in San Francisco elections-"Death to runoffs. Long live runoffs!" December 13, 2001

San Francisco Chronicle: (CA) Two members of San Francisco's Board of Supervisors discuss why San Franciscans should support instant runoff voting for city elections-"Vote once and determine the winners instantly." November 21, 2001

The Hill: CVD's Matthew Cossolotto argues that "America has outgrown the House of Representatives." November 21, 2001

The John Nichols discusses the new bills introduced by Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. and the state of electoral reform one year later-"One year after Florida debacle: Jesse Jackson Jr. presses for fundamental election reforms." November 7, 2001

Wall Street Journal: Editorial discusses the extent and effects of partisan redistricting-"The Gerrymander Scandal." November 7, 2001

Science: CVD staffers Rob Richie and Terry Bouricius joined with professor emeritus Philip Macklin for a letter making the case for instant runoff voting over another positive reform, approval voting. October 2001

Asian Week: Commentary by Phil Tajitsu Nash suggests instant runoff voting as an electoral reform worth considering. October 26, 2001.

Washington Post: CVD's Eric Olson and Professor Jamin Raskin discuss how cumulative voting could benefit Montgomery County, Maryland-"Empowering Political Minorities." October 21, 2001

Science: Letter from Rob Richie, Terry Bouricius, and Philip Macklin in response to an editorial on Approval Voting versus Instant Runoff Voting. October 12, 2001

Boston Review: (MA) CVD executive director Rob Richie comments on Stephen Ansolabehere's essay on The Search for New Voting Technology-"Wasted Votes?" September 2001

New York Times: CVD Chair John Anderson and Executive Director Rob Richie weigh in on voter participation in New York City and full voting rights. September 21, 2001

St. Petersburg Times: (FL) Touts instant runoff voting in a July column and September 17, 2001 editorial

The Columbian:  (WA) Piece on Eugene's upcoming decision on preference voting-"Eugene, Ore., next to try preference voting?"  Michael Zuzel, September 5, 2001

Cleveland Plain Dealer: (OH) IRV is one way to "Rescue democracy from apathy," suggests Tom Brazaitis, September 4, 2001

The Gazette: (MD) CVD Deputy Director Eric Olson comments on Maryland redistricting and urges readers to "Consider proportional representation system." August 29, 2001

San Francisco Examiner:  (CA) An opinion piece that lists proportional systems and instant runoffs as reforms needed to protect women and minority rights "Hard-won voting rights always in peril." Megan Cornish, August 20, 2001 

Roll Call:  A piece about the Green party's increasing role as a "spoiler"-"A Green House? Party Will Back, But Not Recruit, Candidates in Congressional Races." Rachel Van Dongen, August 16, 2001 

New York Times: An article that mentions and illustrates the need for instant runoffs-"Green Party Candidate Finds He's a Republican Pawn." August 8, 2001

The Journal-Register: (IL) Dan Johnson-Weinberger responds to an editorial critical of a return to cumulative voting-"Cumulative voting helps give voice to all." August 8, 2001

Knight Ridder Wire: John B. Anderson's response to the National Commission on Federal Election Reform's recommendations-"Look to the States for Real Reform." August 7, 2001 

Peoria Journal-Star: (IL) Two former state legislators come out in support of cumulative voting-"Bring cumulative voting back to Illinois." August 5, 2001

Ottawa Times:  (IL) Various state legislators comment on cumulative voting-"Plan Splits Area Legislators: cumulative voting dropped in 1980."  August 5, 2001

Billings Gazette: (MT) A piece about Green Party efforts to put an instant runoff initiative on the ballot in Montana-"Instant runoff initiative proposed." August 1, 2001 

Statesman Journal: (OR) Blair Bobier briefly outlines the problems with race-based districts, and how cumulative voting could solve them-"Legislature lacks fair representation." July 30, 2001

Chicago Sun-Times: An op-ed by IL state treasurer Judy Baar Topinka in favor of the return to cumulative voting-"Old System Better for Minorities." July 30, 2001

Amarillo Globe-News: (TX) Two opinion pieces sound off on cumulative voting-"Point-Counterpoint: Should a cumulative voting system be adopted for city elections?"  
-"To The Right: At-large elections work just fine." Virbil Van Camp
-"To the Left: Proportional voting would help more." William H. Seewald, July 27, 2001

Capital Times: (WI) Article about the recent decision to place an Instant Runoff Voting iniative on the ballot in San Francisco in 2002. "Signs of voting reform encouraging." July 19, 2001

Tacoma News Tribune: (WA) Article discussing the benefits of proportional systems for the US-"Proportional representation gives everyone a reason to get out and vote." July 18, 2001

Christian Science Monitor: An informative article about the recent MIT-Cal. Tech study that determined that millions of votes were not counted in the 2000 presidential election. Features comments from CVD's Rob Richie. "Vote tally in '00 off by millions." July 16, 2001

Chicago Sun-Times: (IL) Op-ed in favor of the revival of cumulative voting-"Let's bring back old way of voting." Editorial, July 16, 2001

Listen to National Field Director Dan Johnson-Weinberger debate Pat Quinn on cumulative voting on National Public Radio in Chicago.  Quinn was the author of the 1980 Cutback Amendment that repealed cumulative voting. Just click on Audio next to "Cumulative Voting." July 13, 2001.

Daily Texan: Article discussing the potential benefits of an instant runoff in the presidential race-"Preventing the next Florida fiasco ."  July 12, 2001 

Northwest Leader: (IL) Article highlighting cumulative voting in light of a recent Illinois public opinion poll on electoral reform-"UIC poll explores voter participation, election standards." July 11, 2001

Chicago Sun-Times: (IL) Article in favor of the revival of cumulative voting in Illinois-" A Commonsense Plan to Revive Legislature."  July 11, 2001

The Daily Herald: (IL) An article about the recommendation for a return to cumulative voting that is being voiced by 'The Illinois Task Force on political Representation and Alternative Electoral Systems'-"Group wants return to 'cumulative voting'." July 10, 2001

Chicago Tribune: (IL) An important article about the findings of 'The Illinois Task Force on Political Representation and Alternative Electoral Systems'-"New legislature reform push." July 8, 2001

Springfield Journal-Register: (IL) An article explaining the findings of 'The Illinois Task Force on political Representation and Alternative Electoral Systems'-"A vote for cumulative voting: Task force backs system used to elect House members ended by 1980 Cutback Amendment."  July 8, 2001

The New London Day: (CT) Commentary in support of instant runoff voting and explaining how election cycles of the past might have turned out differently under a system of instant runoff voting, July 8, 2001

Minneapolis Star-Tribune: (MN) A Star Tribune editorial discussing the benefits instant runoffs would have for third parties in Minnesota-"Instant runoff: A voting method worthy of debate." July 5, 2001 

Monterey County Herald:  (CA) A letter to the editor in response to an article about how redistricting will dilute the voice of Salinas, California. Proportional representation is advised-"Try Changing the County Charter." July 5, 2001

Mobile Register: (AL) An article about the use of cumulative voting in Chilton county, Alabama and how it has impacted voters and politicians-"One man, 7 votes?" July 2, 2001

The Virginian-Pilot: (VA) An op-ed discussing how cumulative voting could increase minority representation in Norfolk-"An Alternative for Norfolk City Council Elections." June 21, 2001

Christian Science Monitor: An editorial stressing the importance of voter involvement in redistricting and the need for smaller Congressional districts-"Remuddling the House Needed: smaller districts and no 'safe seats'." June 19, 2001

Eugene Register-Guard: (OR) Interesting article advocating instant runoffs in Oregon-"Runoff voting would save time, money." Matt Donohue and June 13, 2001 

The Oregonian: (OR) Letters to the editor in response to a negative editorial concerning Instant Runoff Voting, June 10, 2001

The Galesburg Zephyr: (IL) An opinion piece by Caroline Porter about the many benefits of cumulative voting-"The drive to revive." June 6, 2001

Los Angeles Times: Commentary suggesting instant runoff voting as a replacement for runoffs in L.A. city council elections-"A Remedy for Long Empty City Council Seats." June 1, 2001
Boston Review: (MA) The authors are responded to by Harvard law professor Lani Guinier with a focus on proportional representation. In their final word, the authors express strong support for Professor Guinier's position -"Faith in Politics?: Beyond the Civil Rights Industry" Rev. Eugene Rivers and Professor Eva Thorne April-May 2001

The Oregonian: (OR) Discussion of the Green Party's initiative for instant runoffs-"Green initiative would call for instant runoffs: Supporters say voters could back minor-party candidates without fear of throwing the election."  May 31, 2001

Asian American Policy Review: Comprehensive article discussing the benefits alternative voting systems have for Asian Americans-"New Means for Political Empowerment in the Asian Pacific American Community." Spring 2001

Roll Call: Dan Johnson-Weinberger discusses the increasing popularity for instant runoff voting-"Instant runoff voting gaining support." May 31, 2001

Raleigh News and Observer: (NC) Lee Mortimer advocates limited voting for North Carolina state legislative elections-"Limit Voting to Increase Democracy." May 30, 2001 

London Times: Letter to the editor by members of the House of Lords advocating the use of proportional representation (check CVD website for more info on election system reform abroad)- "Reform 'primitive' voting system" May 24, 2001

Roll Call: Short piece discussing Rep. Hastings' efforts to gain cosponsors for HR 506 (check the Center's webpage for HR 506  for more info)-"The Battle of Hastings."  May 24, 2001

New York Times: Editorial about election reform bills in the Senate-"Progress on Election Reform" May 15, 2001 

The Oregonian Online: (OR) Xander Patterson calls on all parties to institute instant runoffs to eliminate spoilers-"It's Easy Being Green." May 7, 2001

St. Petersburg Times: (FL) Two editorials in favor of keeping runoff primaries in Florida-"Making Sure Votes Count Series." May 1-3, 2001

Kansas City Star: (KS)Ardent op-ed about instant runoff voting-"New voting system allows instant runoff." May 3, 2001

Austin Chronicle: (TX) Three op-eds defending instant runoffs
   - "Balancing the Ballot." April 27, 2001
- "Simpler Than the Candidates Themselves." April 27, 2001
   - "Give IRV a Chance." April 27, 2001

South Florida Sun-Sentinel: (FL) CVD President John Anderson sends a message to the Florida legislature-"Instant runoff voting:  That's the ticket!"  April 26, 2001

Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette: (IL) An editorial in favor of the use of cumulative voting in Illinois-"State House change deserves a look." April 26, 2001

Atlanta Journal Constitution: A review of new state legislation requring new voting machines-" Governor signs bill for Georgia to use touch-screen voting." April 19, 2001

Eugene Register-Guard: (OR) Oregon city moves toward using instant runoff voting for local elections-"Council Likes Instant Runoff Idea."  April 19, 2001 

Boston Globe: (MA) Strong commentary about adopting instant runof voting-"A Florida 'runoff benefit'?" 
April 15, 2001

Knight-Ridder Wire: Rob Richie and Steven Hill reveal the complications technology brings to the redistricting process-"New computer technology makes redistricting more controversial than ever." April 6, 2001

Christian Science Monitor: Rob Richie and Steven Hill discuss the consequences of the election problems in FL-"Political Reform: Alive and Ready to Kick." April 6, 2001

The Springfield News-Gazette: (IL) Informative article about efforts to revive cumulative voting in IL-"Cumulative voting tries to stage comeback." Kate Clements, April 1

Austin Chronicle: (TX) Instant runoff voting is under serious consideration in Austin, Texas -"Austin Stories."  March 30, 2001

Bennington Banner: (VT) Commentary by Vermont Secretary of State Deborah Markowtiz about the benefits of instant runoff voting-"Majority Rule in Vermont's Elections." March 26, 2001

The American Prospect: Harvard Law Professor Lani Guinier makes an eloquent call for proportional representation and other reforms in "What We Must Overcome."
-NYU law professor Burt Neuborne discusses a wide range of reforms, including calls for serious consideration of instant runoff voting and proportional voting methods in "Reclaiming Democracy."
- Demos president Miles Rapoport makes a strong argument for instant runoff voting in "Democracy's Moment." March 12-26, 2001

Australian Financial Review:  Commentary by Dr. Ben Reilly about the impact of instant runoff voting on Australian politics, March 14, 2001

Reuters:  CVD's Rob Richie is quoted in "With U.S. Census Done, Redistricting Battle Begins." March 7, 2001

The American Prospect On-Line: Steven Hill and Rob Richie discuss majority minority districts. March 7, 2001 

Anchorage Press: (AK) Commentary on the instant runoff voting initiative in Alaska-"The Lessor of Three Evils." March 7, 2001

Charleston Gazette Post and Courier: Former Congressional Black Caucus chair advocates the benefits of cumulative voting -"'Cumulative Voting' Would Enhance Fairness in Charleston County." March 5, 2001

Bellingham Herald: (VT) "Instant Runoff Voting for Washington State." March 5, 2001

Los Angeles Times:
Letter to the editor about instant runoff voting in CA-  March 4, 2001 Rob Richie and Steven Hill advocate reforms for redistricting process- "Redistricting Will Be a Lawyer's Dream - and a Voter Nightmare." March 2, 2001 

The Progressive Populist:
 Letter to the editor about Democratic and Green parties using instant runoff voting to eliminate "spoilers." March 1, 2001

The Colombian: (WA) Article about bills on instant runoff voting in WA-"Legislature: Overhaul of Voting Calls for Instant Runoffs." February 28, 2001 

Rep. Cynthia McKinney:
 Statement about minority voting rights and Voters Choice Act (which allows districts to use proportional representation),  Feb. 27, 2001

Aberdeen Daily World: Commentary about the benefits of instant runoff voting by former Nirvana bassist- "Instant Runoff Voting: A Serious Solution." Feb. 22, 2001

The Libertarian Party of CA:
Libertarian's endorse instant runoff voting-"Libertarians champion alternative voting system to "prevent more Floridas'."  Feb. 21, 2001

Capital News Service: "Instant Runoff Is Possible Maryland Voting Reform." Feb. 16, 2001 Article about proportional representation and instant runoff voting and the Oscars-"Lani Guinier's Oscar Fever."  Feb. 6, 2001

USA Today: Editorial about instant runoff voting- "Spoiler-free elections ." Feb. 5, 2001

Knight Ridder: Rob Richie advocates voting equipment overhaul-"Needed: A Commitment to Democracy." Feb. 1, 2001 

New York Times: Commentary advocating instant runoff voting and proportional representation- "Let's Simplify Voting." Jan. 30, 2001 Article about benefits of instant runoff voting and its use in Ireland and Australia-"Revitalizing the Creaking Edifice of Democracy: Reforms Largely Missed the United States." Jan. 24, 2001

TomPaine.Com: CVD executive director Rob Richie writes about reform of the Electoral College in "Meddling with Reform." CVD president John Anderson makes the case for instant runoff voting in "A Clear Majority Winner in 2000." Jan 24, 2001 Article about proportional representation and its benefits for US-"The Most Needed Electoral Reform Wasted Votes Aren't Just for Third Parties." Douglas Amy, Jan. 24, 2001

Capital Times: About Rep. McKinney and voting rights reform-"New weight for voting rights." Jan. 23, 2001

The Charlotte Observer: (NC) An article advocating the use of cumulative voting, instant runoff voting, and limited voting to represent an increasingly diverse electorate-"Can We Keep Diverse Voice in Our Civic Dialog?" January 11, 2001

St. Petersburg Times: (FL) Proposes instant runoff voting as solution to FL's electoral woes-"Editorial: The Future of Voting." Jan. 10, 2001

Hightower Lowdown
: Major article about electoral reform with sections advocating instant runoff voting and proportional representation- "The time is ripe for real electoral reform. Why not try democracy in America?" January, 2001

Sierra Magazine: Sierra Club Endorses instant runoff voting-"No More Spoilers: A better way at the ballot box." January/February, 2001

The State: Two op-eds about race-based redistricting in SC-"A Better Way of Voting." Editorial, Jan. 9
-"Matthews Wants to Dilute Race-Dominated Districts." Valerie Bauerlein, Jan. 5, 2001

Asian Week:
Discusses proportional representation and instant runoff voting as well as other electoral reforms-"Emancipation and Enfranchisement." Phil Tajitsu Nash, Jan. 3, 2001

Baltimore Sun: (MD) Rob Richie and Steven Hill suggest instant runoff voting as a way to ensure majority candidates-"Change Elections to Instant Runoff Voting." Jan. 2, 2001 

Washington Post:
Suggests proportional representation and instant runoff voting as well as other electoral reforms-"Post-Traumatic Suggestions." William Raspberry, Jan. 1, 2001

The Progressive: John B. Anderson suggests Electoral College should be replaced with laws to ensure a clear majority candidate-"Flunk the Electoral College, Pass Instant Runoffs." January, 2001

Social Policy: Rob Richie, Steven Hill, and Caleb Kleppner discuss the benefits of instant runoff voting and proportional representation, as well as how it is used internationally-"Reclaiming Democracy in the 21st Century: Instant Runoffs, Proportional Representation, and Cumulative Voting." Winter 2000

Platform for Electoral Reform, January, 2001

Recent Media Coverage

Media Coverage from 2000

top of page

Copyright 2002     The Center for Voting and Democracy
6930 Carroll Ave. Suite 610, Takoma Park, MD 20912
(301) 270-4616        [email protected]