Our democracy is fundamentally broken by a dangerous new era of fierce partisan divisions. Most voters are locked in congressional districts that are increasingly skewed toward one party. With no power to affect outcomes, too many votes simply do not matter. The problem goes beyond gerrymandering, redistricting, and money. The problem is districting itself. The zero-sum, winner-take-all system in which only one person is elected to represent each district no longer works in this era of hardened partisanship.
The Fair Representation Act (HR 3057) gives voters of all backgrounds and all political stripes the power to elect House Members who reflect their views and will work constructively with others in Congress. Under the Fair Representation Act, there will be more choices and several winners elected in each district. Congress will remain the same size, but districts will be larger, each electing 3, 4, or 5 winners. Voters will be free to rank their choices without fear of “spoilers.” No district will be “red” or “blue.” Every district will fairly reflect the spectrum of voters.
Voters are clamoring for change. The Fair Representation Act is effective, constitutional, and grounded in American traditions. It will ensure that every vote counts and all voices are heard.
The Fair Representation Act was introduced to the 1st session of the 115th Congress as
House Resolution 3057 on June 26, 2017
I have mentioned the need for Ranked Choice Voting several times. This would do it.
For those unfamiliar with the many reasons why this law is needed, here are a few:
Elections under the single-winner district system are broken:
- Elections are not competitive. More than 85% of U.S. House districts are completely safe for the party that holds them. and only 4% were true toss-ups in 2016. As a result, millions of Americans are perpetually represented by politicians they oppose, with little hope of changing things at the polls.
- Outcomes are distorted. Massachusetts Republicans haven’t elected a House Member in more than 2 decades. Oklahoma Democrats are similarly shut out. Minor parties are nearly always shamed as “spoilers.” One party can run the House even when the other earns more votes. In fair elections, those with the most votes should win the most seats, but every American deserves a fair share.
- The Constitutional Requirement for Separation of Powers Requirement is Routinely Violated. Too often, the party of the President and the party of one or both houses of Congress are the same. When that happens, the President gains the powers of a King, with a legislative branch that simply rubber stamps whatever he desires in exchange for his approval of their own desires. The framers wanted the powers of a King divided, not rubber stamped by mindless morons.
- Representatives are more polarized than voters. Voters in general elections must choose between polarized candidates selected by highly partisan primary voters, leaving many without a route to representation.
The Fair Representation Act can help:
- Meaningful elections. By electing candidates from multi-winner districts with at least three seats each, fair representation voting would allow every voter to elect someone from the major party they support. And, more of each party’s “big tent” would have the opportunity to support – and even elect – a candidate in the general election.
- Accurate Representation. Because election results with ranked choice voting would be proportional within each district, the skewed outcomes of our current system would be a thing of the past. Voters that are now shut-out, like Republicans in Massachusetts or Democrats in Oklahoma, would win their fair share of representation. In every state, the number of seats earned by each party would align far more closely to their share of the vote.
- Open elections to reflect our full diversity. With proportional outcomes and a wider variety of candidates advancing to the general election, the Fair Representation Act will create more fair opportunities for women, people of color, urban Republicans, rural Democrats, and independents.