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Recent Commentaries on Electoral Reform

Election 2000 has brought unprecedented attention to electoral reform. Please see our page devoted to commentaries and media coverage


Commentaries from 2000 (pre-election)


Commentary by Rob Richie and Steven Hill on the significant battle for control of state legislatures -- and its significance for redistricting and legislative elections for the next decade.
Commentaries on reforming the Electoral College by John Anderson in USA Today, Steve Hill in Roll Call, the Christian Science Monitor and elsewhere,and by Burt Constable in the Daily Herald . October-November, 2000
New commentaries on turnout and lack of competition: Lee Mortimer, a founding member of the Center for Voting and Democracy, recently wrote the following commentary. It has appeared in the Raleigh News and Observer, Charlotte News and Observer, Houston Chronicle and other publications. Related commentary by John Gear in the Lansing State Journal and by Carl Weiser in the Gannett News Service.
October 2000 New IRV commentaries Olson piece in Roll Call, Richie and Hill piece in The Nation, Tom Wicker column in, Michael Lind column in the New York Times, Eric Olson letter in the Washington Post on instant runoffs for DC school board elections, John Anderson piece the Detroit Free Press, Colorado Daily column.
Former top Bush advisor Pinkerton writes about proportional representation: James Pinkerton, a Newsday columnist who was a domestic policy advisor to President George Bush, visited the Green Party convention in June. His column ���System Stacked against Nader, Buchanan��� intelligently discusses the key role that proportional representation plays in allowing a multi-party democracy.
CVD Vice-President Matthew Cossolotto touts instant runoff voting in Washington Post op-ed: On July 30, the Washington Post published a commentary called "The Spoiler Factor" by Matthew Cossolotto. The op-ed makes a strong case for states adopting runoff voting for presidential elections.
"Blanket primary has other solutions, and it's not Louisiana's
Commentary by Steven Hill in Roll Call, July 24, 2000
A win/win alternative to the blanket primary
Letter to editor by Janet Anderson  in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, July 22, 2000
New York Times commentary and Washington Post letter tout instant runoff to eliminate "spoiler" dilemma: CVD president John B. Anderson's 7/5/2000 commentary in the New York Times and John Strawn's 7/6/2000 letter in the Washington Post suggest that the plurality voting system is the real spoiler in this year's election 
May 24 commentaries from CVD: The politics of guns and the November elections, by Rob Richie and Steven Hill, and the advantages of instant runoff voting, by Caleb Kleppner.
Two published letters and a radio commentary from CVD Rob Richie, April 2000: Commentary on Elian Gonzalez and the Electoral College on Pacifica radio and letters in New York Times and Washington Post.
PR and Italy -- Not What You Might Think: Critics of proportional representation often tout Italy as a reason to oppose reform. In fact, Italy is hardly indicative of how proportional representation systems work -- and winner-take-all elections likely would be even more problematic. See Steven Hill's recent published op-ed.
Electoral Reforms Needed, Maryland 2000. When districts are drawn to insulate legislators from competition, voters are robbed of having a choice. by Eric Olson.  Baltimore Times 
Avoid Costly Runoff Elections, A Better Runoff, and The Instant Runoff. By IRV Project Director Caleb Kleppner
April Fool's Redistricting By Matthew Cossolotto
Proportional Representation: Next Step for Democracy  Rep. Cynthia McKinney; Roll Call, February 14, 2000
Without McCain, Will Independents Turn Out? By Rob Richie and Steven Hill
Reining In Attack Politics By Rob Richie and Steven Hill
ICANN: the Secret Government of the Internet? by Steve Hill
John McCain: Going Independent? by Rob Richie and Steven Hill
Look Who's Acting Like the Microsoft of Politics, by Steven Hill and Rob Richie
John B. Anderson's articles on reform have long been a feature of this web site. He has been president of the Center since 1996. His most recent speech was A Vision For A More Muscular Democracy. 1/15/2000
Three commentaries by CVD cover proportional representation and electoral competition, representation of women, and voter turnout. 1/14/2000
Commentaries from 1999
Let's Try Runoffs by Michael Yaki and Mark Leno members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
A Third Choice leads us past the dilemma of color-blind versus race-conscious remedies to America's racial inequities. Washington Post commentary by William Raspberry 12/17/99
No Contest, No Choice, a USA Today editorial, 11/03/99
Uncontested Contests, Happy Election Day, America! by Gail Collins, New York Times, 11/02/99
A Lock on Elections in Virginia Washington Post commentary by Rob Richie and Stephen K. Medvic "Why would the parties give up on nearly two-thirds of the seats when a single seat change could shift control of the legislature?" 10/31/99
The Case for Modernizing an Outdated Institution Rob Richie and Steven Hill. "No question, the Senate is a unique institution." 10/30/99
Electoral College By Rob Richie "More than a third of presidential elections have been won with a mere plurality of the popular vote."  10/29/99
The Vancouver Columbian Endorses Amendment 1 to allow Instant Runoff Voting. 10/17/99
Instant Runoff Is One Reform That Works By John B. Anderson and John Gear 10/6/99
Resolving Buchanan's Dilemma By Rob Richie and Caleb Kleppner 10/1/99
County councils in Prince Georges and Montgomery Counties Maryland  may consider IRV to fill council vacancies. Eric Olson 07/18/99

Commentaries from 1998

These Reforms Will Get Voters to the Polls.  Jamin B. Raskin and Rob Richie. 09/13/98

A compelling case for using IRV in Congressional Primaries in Massachusetts.  Note that the candidate who won the primary that year won with 23% of the vote.  By George Goverman and David R. Leslie. 09/01/98 
Get Your Election Results Right Here!, Steven Hill. 05/29/98
Taxpayer-Financed Exclusion: The Supreme Court's Latest Outrage, John B. Anderson. 05/19/98
Streamlining runoffs, Rob Richie and Steven Hill. 05/21/98
How to Bind the Nation, Steven Hill. 04/02/98
Let the Voters Decide Their Representation, John B. Anderson and Rob Richie. 02/16/98
The real tragedy of Sen. Feinstein's withdrawal from the Governor's race, Steven Hill and Rob Richie. 02/02/98
Fair Elections and Full Representation in the US, Rob Richie and Steven Hill. 01/27/98
In Politics, Money Isn't the Root of All Evil, Rob Richie and Steven Hill. 01/22/98
De-Clawing the Gerrymander, Walter Hearne. 01/21/98
Campaign finance reform's rejection need not spell the end of reform, Rob Richie and Steven Hill. 01/13/98

Commentaries from 1997

To the Spoiler Goes the Victory?, Rob Richie and Steven Hill. 12/04/97
Civil Rights Controversy Shows Need for Universal Approach, Rob Richie and Steven Hill. 11/19/97
Freeing Voters from "No Choice" Elections, Rob Richie and Steven Hill. 11/14/97
The Dinosaur in the Living Room, Rob Richie and Steven Hill. 11/11/97
Shhh... Don't Wake the Voters, John B. Anderson. 11/08/97
A Cheaper, Better Way than Run-Offs, Rob Richie and Steven Hill. 11/05/97
Did Christie Whitman Really Win? IRV Knows, Rob Richie and Steven Hill. 11/05/97
Senate Hearings on Campaign Finances Missed the Real Problem, Rob Richie and Steven Hill. 11/03/97
Forging a Living Democracy, John B. Anderson and Robert Richie. 10/31/97
New York's Test for Republicans, Rob Richie. 10/30/97
Majority Rule: As Easy as 1-2-3, Rob Richie and Steven Hill. 10/29/97
Money Doesn't Buy Love -- And Perhaps Not Most Elections, Rob Richie and Steven Hill. 08/09/97
Case Closed: The Move to Fair Elections in Mexico and Elsewhere, Rob Richie and Steven Hill. 06/11/97

'Complicated' Is In the Eye of the Beholder, Rob Richie and Steven Hill. 06/09/99

Commentaries prior to 1997
Atlantic Monthly: A Radical Plan to Change American Politics, Michael Lind. 08/92

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