Past FairVote Events

Nirvana's Krist Novoselic: A National Tour of Bookstore Lectures and House Parties for the Center for Voting and Democracy

Krist Novoselic, bass player for the band Nirvana and an effective political activist in Washington state, has written a new book called "Of Grunge & Government: Let's Fix This Broken Democracy!" In the book Novoselic discusses how Nirvana emerged as the world's biggest band of the early 1990s, how he got involved in politics and why we need electoral reform --  in particular full representation and instant runoff voting.

Novoselic's book hit your local bookstores in September, and he is on a national tour on its behalf. (See full schedule below.) His talks at bookstores focus on changing winner-take-all elections.

Novoselic has also been featured in the media.  His October 16th talk was covered on C-SPAN's "Book TV." He discussed his book and reform options in an interview on October 8 and his tour was covered on October 11 by the New Yorker.

Novoselic also is joining the Center for Voting and Democracy's Board of Directors this fall, and he has generously offered to participate in a house party for the Center for Voting and Democracy in every city along the way of his tour. Updated details will be posted regularly on this page.

Novoselic's tour schedule is below, followed by a release about about "Of Grunge & Government" that is on Krist's website:  You also can check out a review from Spin Magazine, Times Leader (PA) or

Krist Novoselic's Book Tour Schedule
Tue. Sept. 14     Bellingham's Village Books, 1210 11th St., 7:30pm
Wed. Sep. 15     Tacoma's University Bookstore, 1754 Pacific Ave., 6pm
Fri. Sept. 17     Seattle's University Bookstore, Kane Hall, Room 130, University of Washington, 7pm
Sat. Sept. 18     Olympia's Orca Books, 509 E. 4th Ave., 7pm
Sun. Sept. 19     Portland's Powell's, 1005 W. Burnside, 7:30pm
Mon. Sept. 20     Sacramento's Virgin Megastore, 1715 Arden Way, 7pm
Wed. Sept. 22     San Francisco's Virgin Megastore, 2 Stockton St., 6:30pm
Thurs. Sept. 23     L.A.'s Virgin Megastore, 8000 Sunset Blvd., 6pm
Fri. Sept. 24     Orange's Virgin Megastore, 20 City Blvd. West, Bld B Suite 1, 6pm
Sat. Sept. 25     Las Vegas's Virgin Megastore, 500 16th Street
Sun. Sept. 26     Tempe's Virgin Megastore, 5000 Arizona Mills, Circle Space 590, 4pm
Tues. Sept. 28     Salt Lake City's Virgin Megastore, 12 South 400 West, 6pm
Wed. Sept. 29     Denver's Virgin Megastore, 500 16th St., Space 184, 6pm
Sat. Oct. 2     New York's Political Rockers Panel at Celeste Bartos Forum, the New York Public Library, 42nd between 5th and 6th Ave. (New Yorker Festival), 1pm
Sun. Oct. 3     New York's Barnes and Noble Union Sq., 33 E. 17th St. (New Yorker Festival), 2pm
Mon. Oct. 4     Washington, DC's Politics & Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW, 7pm
Tues. Oct. 5     New York's Virgin Megastore, Union Sq., 52 E. 14th St., 6pm
Wed. Oct. 6     New York's Tap Bar at Knitting Factory, 74 Leonard St., 7-9pm ($5 cover)
Thurs. Oct. 7     Boston's Virgin Megastore, 360 Newbury St., 6pm
Sat. Oct. 9     Chicago's Virgin Megastore, West 540 N. Michigan Ave., 4pm
Sat. Oct. 16     Seattle's Elliott Bay Book Co., 101 S. Main St., 3pm

Join Krist at House Parties to Support Electoral Reform

As Krist Novoselic travels the country, he is looking forward to meeting with local supporters of reform. As a new board member of the Center for Voting and Democracy, Krist asks attenders to make a donation -- ideally of at least $25 -- to the Center.

We have organized house parties for the following locations. Because most of them are in private homes, we are not putting address information on the website, but instead ask those interested in attending to RSVP and obtain information by calling us at (301) 270-4616 or emailing to [email protected]. Here are short description about the events and, where possible, information about where to go.

  • September 17: House party in Seattle (WA) from 5 - 6:30 pm Join Krist, executive director Rob Richie and board secretary Cynthia Terrell at a home in the Madrona area of Seattle.
  • September 18: House party in Olympia (WA) from 9 - 10:30 pm Join Krist, executive director Rob Richie and board secretary Cynthia Terrell at the home of Becky Liebman and Charlie Stephens.
  • September 19: House party in Portland (OR) from 5 - 6:30 pm Join Krist, executive director Rob Richie and board secretary Cynthia Terrell at a private home in downtown Portland.  See an article about Krist's public appearance at Powell's City of Books in the Oregonian.
  • September 20: House party in Sacramento (CA) from 9 - 10:30 pm Join Krist and local leaders of Californians for Electoral Reform at the home of Rev. Theodore Webb just outside Sacramento.
  • September 21: Gathering in Berkeley (CA) from 7 - 8:30 pm Join Krist, the Center's senior analyst Steven Hill and new board member David Wilner at the Pusod center in downtown Berkeley.
  • September 22: House party in San Francisco (CA) from 8:30 - 10 pm Join Krist and the Center's senior analyst Steven Hill at a private home in San Francisco.
  • September 23: Gathering in Beverly Hills (CA) from 8 - 10 pm Join Krist, the Center's executive director and new board member Katherine Spillar of the Feminist Majority Foundation for a discussion and reception in the auditorium of the Feminist Majority Foundation at 433 South Beverly Drive (between Olympia and Pico, west of Robertson).  For this event, please RSVP by September 22 by phone to (310) 556-2500 or by email to [email protected].
  • October 3: House party in Washington (DC) at 6:30 pm Join Krist, Robert Richie, and Jamin Raskin, professor of constitutional law at American University at a house party this Sunday for drinks, music, treats from Cakelove, and spirited discussions about our voting system, the need and  possibilities for reform, as well as efforts to promote a constitutional  right to vote.
  • October 4: Gathering in Washington (DC) from 12:30-1:20 pm "Ragged Republic: The Dangerous Weakness of America's Electoral System in 2004." Washington College of Law, Room 602 4801 Massachusetts Avenue, NEW! Join Krist and Professor Jamin Raskin, pro-democracy lawyer and author of the newly released paperback version of Overruling Democracy: The Supreme Court versus the American People, his 2003 Washington Post Bestseller, as they discuss what's wrong in structure, design and practice with America's electoral system today and how to change it. The discussion will be followed by a book-signing with the authors.
  • October 6: Gathering in New York (NY) from 5:00 pm Please join Krist, Demos, and the Center's Executive Director Rob Richie for the latest updates on implementation of instant runoff voting in San Francisco, and discussion of the distorted nature of representation and competition in congressional races. Demos is located on the fifth floor of 220 Fifth Avenue, near the 28 St/Broadway subway stop. RSVP by phone to Demos at 212-633-1405.

Stay tuned! House parties are planned for Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Denver, Chicago, and Boston during Krist's book tour.


Beyond Winner-Take-All

Choice Voting & Instant Runoff Voting as Models for American Democracy
Cambridge City Hall
Cambridge, MA
July 28, 2004

1-3 pm: Forum
3-5 pm: Open House 

The City of Cambridge, the Cambridge Election Commission and the Center for Voting and Democracy are holding a forum and open house about rising interest in innovative election rules, such as:
  • Choice voting, used since 1941 in Cambridge (MA) and in other nations like Ireland
  • Instant runoff voting, recently adopted for city elections in San Francisco (CA)
  • Proportional representation, as used to elect convention delegates to the Democratic National Convention
Highlights include:
  • An Open House with opportunities to talk with elected officials and members of the Cambridge Election Commission on how Cambridge's choice voting method of full representation (also called "proportional representation") works for electing the city council and school committee.
  • Forum with election administrators and local and state elected officials on their use of ranked ballots (1, 2, 3) and full representation where a tenth of the citywide vote elects one of the nine council members, resulting for decades in diverse and representative local councils and school committees.
Speakers include:
  • Alice K. Wolf, Moderator; Massachusetts State Representative from the 25th Middlesex District, former Mayor of Cambridge
  • George Goverman, Attorney; Cambridge Election Commissioner 1976-80, Co-author of manual on conducting a PR Count
  • Dan Johnson-Weinberger, General Counsel for the Center for Voting and Democracy; a founder of the Midwest Democracy Center
  • Mark Leno, California State Assembly Man from San Fransisco; former member of the Board of (Election) Supervisors
  • Dr. Pippa Norris, McGuire Lecturer in Comparative Politics of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University; author of over thirty books, including Electoral Engineering: Voting Rules and Political Behavior
  • James Roosevelt, Jr., Attorney; Member of Democratic National Committee, Massachusetts State, and Cambridge City Committees

Democracy in Peril

Boston Event on July 26 Highlights Right-to-Vote Amendment 

Speakers to include Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., Lani Guinier, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, Rep. Corrine Brown, Kim Gandy, Robert Kuttner, Hendrik Hertzberg, Benjamin Barber, Billie Jean Young

On July 26, 2004, the first day of the Democratic Convention, leading civil rights leaders and electoral reformers will gather in downtown Boston at Suffolk University to focus attention on the case for an affirmative right to vote in the U.S. Constitution. Sponsored by the Center for Voting and Democracy, MassVOTE and the Suffolk College of Arts and Sciences, the forum features such speakers as Congressmen Jesse Jackson, Jr. and Dennis Kucinich, Rev. Jesse Jackson, law professors Lani Guinier and Jamin Raskin, National Organization for Women President Kim Gandy, scholars Alex Keyssar and Benjamin Barber and journalists Robert Kuttner and Hendrik Hertzberg.

The invitation-only event promises to draw a full house of convention delegates, journalists, students and members of organizations that have embraced Congressman Jackson's call for a right to vote in the U.S. Constitution. Congressman Jackson's proposed amendment, H. J. Resolution 28, has drawn the sponsorship of nearly the entire Congressional Black Caucus and additional congressional leaders such as Patrick Kennedy and Luis Guttierez.

The reality that Americans have no affirmative right to vote in the Constitution was brought home when the Supreme Court majority in Bush v. Gore declared that the Florida legislature had the right to disregard the popular vote and appoint electors, but the problem runs more deeply. The lack of a federal right to vote explains how so many states can continue to have voting equipment and voter registration problems like those we saw in Florida in 2000, how states and counties risk new controversy with the implementation of questionable touch screen voting equipment developed by private companies and how states like Florida can ban hundreds of thousands of ex-felons from the polls for life. For more information, see

The event is possible, in part, through the support of Suffolk University. Details about the schedule are listed below. Because seating at the theatre is limited, the event is by invitation-only. RSVP by July 23

A National Campaign for Democracy
The Case for a Right-to-Vote Constitutional Amendment

July 26, 1:30 pm to 5 pm
C. Walsh Theatre at Suffolk University

  • Welcome from the Center for Voting and Democracy's Rob Richie and Suffolk University's John Berg.  
  • Opening speech by Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr., to be introduced by National Organization for Women president Kim Gandy (1:30 pm - 2:10 pm)
  • First session: "From Fannie Lou Hamer to Florida: The Continuing Struggle for Democracy in America":  (2:10 pm - 3 pm).  This panel will feature substantial audience participation as speakers focus on voting rights struggles over the course of American history. It will include Billie Jean Young' dramatization of Fannie Lou Hamer's efforts to gain representation for African Americans from Mississippi at the 1964 Democratic convention and Professor Alex Keyssar of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, John Bonifaz of the National Voting Rights Institute, journalist Greg Palast and Rev. Carrie Bolton of the Fannie Lou Hamer Project.
  • Second session: "Expanding the Electorate / Enhancing the Vote" (3:10 pm - 4 pm).  This session will focus on strategies to expand the electorate by boosting participation under current rules, by adopting reforms such as election day registration, instant runoff voting and full representation and by increasing those with the right to vote through felony voting rights, immigrant voting, lowering the voting age, federal voting rights for residents of the Territories and D.C. Statehood.. Washington College of Law's Jamin Raskin will introduce and moderate a panel with the Right to Vote Campaign's Robin Templeton,  Harvard law professor Lani Guinier, New Yorker writer Hendrik Hertzberg, Ilir Zherka of DC Vote and Juan Martinez from MassVOTE.
  • Third session: "Building a Movement for A Democratic Constitution" (4 pm - 4:40 pm).  This session will feature speeches in support of a right-to-vote amendment and how it supports the demand for better securing, enhancing and exercising the right to vote. Confirmed speakers include Congressman Dennis Kucinich, The American Prospect's Robert Kuttner, Congresswoman Corrine Brown and University of Maryland political scientist Ben Barber. Governor Howard Dean may speak as well.
  • Closing speech by Rev. Jesse Jackson (4:40 pm - 5 pm)

John B. Anderson Debates Election Reforms

Former congressman and presidential candidate John B. Anderson debates election reforms

Thursday, September 27, 2001
Social Sciences Room 203 
Palm Beach Community College
Palm Beach, Florida
7-8:30 pm

This event is being sponsored by
the Center for Voting and Democracy 
and advocates of Instant Runoff Voting.

Please advertise in media, with students,
faculty, public officials and general public.

For information & reservations:

Daniel W. O'Connell, Esq.
[email protected]