Program for Representative Government: Challenging Winner-Take-All with Proportional Voting
Our Program for Representative Government engages in community education, media outreach and cutting-edge research to demonstrate how winner-take-all legislative elections lead to uncompetitive elections, under-representation of women and communities of color, regional polarization and unfair partisan advantage. We research, advocate and educate the public about proportional representation voting systems. Through proportional voting systems, like-minded groupings of voters win legislative seats in better proportion to their share of the population. Whereas winner-take-all elections award 100% of power to a 50.1% majority, proportional voting allows voters in a minority to win a fair share of representation. It describes a broad range of methods that require at least some legislators to be elected in districts with more than one seat, under the basic principle that seats should be proportionally awarded to candidates, based on their share of the overall vote.

In the United States proportional representation is perhaps best known for its use in allocating delegates in all Democratic presidential nomination contests and in several Republican nomination contests. Proportional voting systems already used in local legislative elections in the United States include choice voting (voters rank candidates, and seats are allocated by efficiently distributing voters preferences using a proportional formula), cumulative voting (voters cast as many votes as seats and can give multiple votes to one candidate), and limited voting (voters have fewer votes than seats). We see choice voting as the best candidate-based system for securing proportional representation and accommodating voter choice.
Recent Articles
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 16th 2009
Haven't Detroit voters spoken enough?
Livingston Daily

In Detroit, there have been three mayors in the past two years and the current one has come under scrutiny. Perhaps a system like instant runoff voting will help bring political stability to motor city.

August 21st 2009
Black candidate for Euclid school board to test new voting system
Cleveland Plain Dealer

Limited voting, a form of proportional voting, will be used in Euclid (OH), in the hopes of allowing better representation of minorities.

July 2nd 2009
Reforming Albany
New York Times

FairVote's Rob Richie responds in a letter to the editor making the case for proportional voting systems to bring substantive reform to New York's legislature.