The Voters First Movement is having a stellar month
We’re back! As you may have noticed, you didn’t receive an edition of Three Things Thursday last week. However, the lapse was not without good cause. Our team was working diligently to finalize a new report co-authored by Protect Democracy and Unite America entitled, “Towards Proportional Representation for the U.S. House: Amending the Uniform Congressional District Act.”
This new report traces the history and politics of congressional districting while suggesting how a different election system — proportional representation (also known as “PR”) — might yield a Congress that reflects the rich partisan, ideological, geographical, racial, socioeconomic, and cultural diversity of the United States. The report is a valuable addition to the growing body of research about the ways various electoral reforms can benefit the voting public. We sent out an announcement to our readers on Tuesday, which we hope you have an opportunity to check out. And in case you missed the launch, you can access the report here!
1. Thanks to FairVote Minnesota, momentum for statewide ranked choice voting is gaining steam
This month, legislators in the Minnesota State House heard testimony about the effectiveness and simplicity of ranked choice voting, including remarks from Rep. Mary Peltola, D-AK. As noted in a tweet, Rep. Peltola spoke of her state's positive experience with statewide ranked choice voting, stating, "Voters tended to elect candidates with broad appeal who minimized negative campaigning." There is active legislation in the Minnesota State House and Senate that would create a task force to determine how to implement the reform statewide.
The testimony given by Rep. Peltola before the Minnesota legislature further supports the efficacy of ranked choice voting and related nonpartisan election reforms. As you may recall, the “Alaska model” of voting also includes a nonpartisan, Top Four primary, in which all candidates compete on a single ballot and all eligible voters can participate, advancing the top-four-finishing candidates per race to the general election. After examining the results there from 2022, it has become apparent that the Alaska Model is popular among voters and can produce outcomes representative of the voting public (e.g., Peltola, a moderate Democrat; Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a moderate Republican; Gov. Mike Dunleavy, a conservative Republican).
2. A new ranked choice voting implementation guide was launched by RepresentUs, RCV Resource Center, and Democracy Rising
Congratulations to our partners for launching their new guide to help advocates successfully implement and defend ranked choice voting laws after passing them.
The long-term success and defense of ranked choice voting campaigns directly correlates with a successful first implementation of this election model. As was noted in the intro of the guide, "A successful implementation process can mean the difference between a smooth election that lives up to the promises of your campaign and a fiasco that leaves voters and lawmakers wondering if this new reform is worth the trouble." This guide was created to ensure that the inaugural implementation of ranked choice voting is a success the first time, every time.
“Some politicians hate Ranked Choice Voting for the same reason the vast majority of Americans love it: it gives voters more power, weakens the two-party establishment’s grip on politics, and it forces candidates to appeal to a majority to win,” said Joshua Graham Lynn, CEO of RepresentUs.
“Our goal with Protect the Win is simple: to make sure we keep winning. This guide is a critical tool. It gives advocates what they need to make sure new RCV laws work, defend them from attacks, and continue the momentum toward a government that represents us.”
Check out the guide to learn more!
3. What is the way out of extremism? Election reform!
Our partners at Citizen Data recently released their latest Political Impact Report, which provides a deep dive into what happened in the midterms, and where our democracy partners should focus their time and resources moving forward. The Fulcrum published an article detailing the top-line findings of the study that noted the following:
“We found that states with Top 2 [nonpartisan primaries], Top 4 RCV, or statewide RCV were three times less likely to have an election denier win in the 2022 general election compared to states without these reforms in use. Even more encouraging, we found widespread support for these reforms, as nearly 6 in 10 voters nationwide said they would support a reform similar to Top 4 in Alaska in their state,” said Mindy Finn, Founder and CEO of Citizen Data.