Proportional Representation in the United States

Proportional Representation could be adopted for all U.S. legislative elections without a constitutional amendment. The U.S. Constitution allows states to determine the manner of their elections. States could adopt versions of PR for congressional and state level elections simply by acts of their legislatures or passage of initiatives. And, as Lani Guinier argues, PR systems would be the fairest, most effective method to enforce the Voting Rights Act.

PR also makes sense for local elections. Already, Cambridge (Mass.) uses PR, while Cincinnati voters gave PR 45% of the vote in a 1991 initiative. Similar initiatives are underway or soon to be launched in Seattle, San Francisco, Eugene (OR) and elsewhere

Majority Preference Voting (MPV) could be an interim reform for single winner races like those for governor, mayor and current members of Congress. With MPV voters rank candidates in order of preference. If a candidate receives a majority of first choices, she wins. If not, the last place candidate is eliminated, and ballots of voters supporting that candidate go to their second choices. This process continues until a candidate gains over 50%. While not providing fair representation to new parties, MPV allows representation of their views in campaigns by eliminating fears of "wasted" votes. PV also clarifies mandates, ensures majority winners, improves voter turnout and undermines negative campaigning.