Ryan O'Donnell - Director, Presidential Elections Reform Program
Ryan was the lead organizer and lobbyist for the National Popular Vote bill in the Maryland Assembly. Maryland became the first state in the country to sign on to the plan to change the way we elect the president in April 2007.

Ryan has been interviewed in outlets ranging from NPR to The National Journal's Insider Interviews series. His commentaries on politics and elections have appeared in The Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, Sacramento Bee, Philadelphia Inquirer, Rocky Mountain News, New Orleans Times-Picayune, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Manchester Union-Leader, San Jose Mercury News, the Tennessean, TomPaine.com, Newark Star-Ledger, The Guardian (UK) and others.

Ryan drafted a substantial portion of the Association of State Democratic Chairs "Priorities for Election Reform" recommendations in 2007. He also served as an international policy fellow for the Electoral Reform Society in London during Britain's 2005 general elections.

Ryan joined FairVote as Communications Director after serving as Marketing Coordinator at the Fine Arts Center of Amherst, Massachusetts, a non-profit organization that presented jazz, classical music, dance and visual arts. Ryan is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts.

Ryan can be reached at ryan(AT)fairvote.org

Articles by Ryan O'Donnell
October 29th 2008
eCRASH: Elections Web site goes down on absentee ballot deadline
Capital News Service

FairVote's Adam Fogel comments on Maryland Board of Elections' website crash near the absentee voting deadline.

January 29th 2008
From rock to reform: Novoselic to chair FairVote election group
The Olympian

Article announcing new FairVote Chair, Krist Novoselic, and discussing organization's vision.

November 1st 2007
Fixing The Primary Scramble
National Journal

As part of National Journal's "Insider Interviews" series, Ryan O'Donnell talks about the primary scheduling debacle and what can be done to fix it.

August 11th 2007
Primary agenda should benefit the nation first
The Miami Herald

According to FairVote's Ryan O'Donnell, states must see both a collective and benefit to reform, and embrace real change on the national scale.

July 15th 2007
However it's broken, it's time to fix primary process
San Jose Mercury News

There is no policy in the United States for how to run presidential nominations. That's the idea behind FairVote's new effort, FixThePrimaries.com, which aims for a national commission to establish a saner process in 2012.

April 2nd 2007
Better elections with instant runoffs
The Boston Globe

FairVote's Ryan O'Donnell makes the case for instant runoff voting to prevent non-majority winners in elections. With Massachusetts Rep. Martin Meehan's departure, the state looks headed for yet another crowded election to fill his seat.

April 2nd 2007
Making The Popular Vote A Winner

FairVote's Rob Richie and Ryan O'Donnell highlight the success of the national popular vote plan in Maryland's legislature, and impact on fair presidential elections this historic reform success will have.

November 1st 2006
Don't Leave Young Voters Behind

FairVote's Communications Director Ryan O'Donnell examines the problem of young people not voting and advocates an early registration program so they may vote as soon as they become eligible.

October 31st 2006
Passing by the hall of shame
The Guardian

How many more congressional scandals need to happen to create a comfortable majority for the Democrats?

September 15th 2006
America and Mexico: Electoral Outliers
The Progressive Populist

FairVote's Ryan O'Donnell and Usman Ahmed discuss why we should remember that the methods countries use to elect their leaders are as important as who wins.

June 14th 2006
Lottery won't improve voter turnout; use money to better election system
Arizona Daily Star

To bring more voters into the democratic process, we need serious efforts like a citizens' assembly on electoral reform, says FairVote's Ryan O'Donnell.

May 17th 2006
Eliminating 146 polls is no solution
The Wichita Eagle

America needs to go back to the drawing board for comprehensive election reform, argues FairVote's Ryan O'Donnell in the wake of Wichita's decision to close 70% of its polling places.

March 22nd 2006
A new way of voting would give more choice
The Philadelphia Inquirer

Commentary by FairVote's Ryan O'Donnell shows how the fear of a spoiler can take certain issues out of the debate in a campaign, and how IRV solves this problem.

February 28th 2006
The Electoral College: A new approach to an increasingly serious problem
Sacramento Bee

The Electoral College's violations of political equality make the case for presidential election reform particularly pressing, according to FairVote's Rob Richie and Ryan O'Donnell.

February 23rd 2006
The Electoral College: A new approach to reform
TomPaine.com / OpEdNews.com

FairVote's Rob Richie and Ryan O'Donnell write about the new efforts of the National Popular Vote campaign to elect the President without the current Electoral College system.

December 22nd 2005
Louisiana's Electoral Disaster
Washington Post

Postponed elections, faulty voter rolls, and FEMA intransigence dilute Louisiana democracy. FairVote's Rob Richie and Ryan O'Donnell make the case for reforms including universal voter registration and ranked choice absentee ballots.

December 5th 2005
A better plan needed for primaries
Rocky Mountain News

According to FairVote's Ryan O'Donnell, the Democrats should be considering the American Plan rather than moving Colorado or Nevada earlier in the primary season.

November 28th 2005
America needs a fair Presidential primary schedule for all states
Manchester Union Leader

Getting a fair primary schedule doesn't mean front-loading the early season with more states, argues FairVote's Ryan O'Donnell in a featured commentary in New Hampshire's largest newspaper.

November 24th 2005
Majority rule making comeback
The Baltimore Sun

FairVote's Ryan O'Donnell shows how the IRV win in Takoma Park could be a model for the rest of Maryland.

November 1st 2005
The Shrinking Battleground
Tom Paine.com

FairVote's Chris Pearson and Ryan O'Donnell argue that the Electoral College has a wide range of negative consequences for American democracy.

October 27th 2005
Parties should make direct election of president a priority
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

FairVote's Ryan O'Donnell argues that a genuine commitment to inclusion should impel both parties to think seriously about direct election for president.

October 15th 2005
Wamp fresh leadership for sagging Republicans
The Tennessean

According to FairVote's Ryan O'Donnell, the Republican party should seize the opportunity to embrace electoral reforms, and take the lead on ending gerrymandering.

October 11th 2005
Wrong answer to presidential-primary problem
The Orlando Sentinel

According to FairVote's Ryan O'Donnell, the electoral reform commission headed by Jimmy Carter and James Baker gives us a flawed plan to fix our broken presidential primary schedule.

July 27th 2005
The unfair power of the primaries
Newark Star-Ledger

Rob Richie and Ryan O'Donnell make the case for a better system of presidential primaries that gives all states a fair say on who a party's nominee will be.

July 26th 2005
Electoral Reform Pays
Green Horizon Quarterly

FairVote's Ryan O'Donnell explores the role of third parties in expanding American democracy through history. He suggests IRV and proportional voting will be the latest reforms in this evolution.

August 6th 2004
Electoral College Encourages Fraud
Amherst Bulletin

Ryan O'Donnell writes that fraud in presidential elections won't end with the introduction of papertrails.


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