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11 Ways You Can Help Advance Ranked Choice Voting

by Fair Vote, published

The 2016 elections helped to illustrate the ways in which voters are penalized by our voting rules. Voters of all stripes are deprived of a range of real choices at the ballot. Unrepresentative winners in elections at all levels of government -- by candidates of all parties -- serve to further divide communities and make governing more difficult. Ranked choice voting gives you the freedom to vote for the candidate you like the best without worrying you'll help to elect the candidate you like the least.

On November 8th, Maine voters voted “yes” on a ballot question to adopt ranked choice voting for all statewide elections. In doing so, they became the first state to make vote-splitting and the concept of “spoiler candidates” a thing of the past. Other cities and states should follow their lead.

We at FairVote have been thrilled to see the energy from both long-time supporters and folks that are just starting to enter into the discussion. We are excited to continue our work to improve democracy, and we hope that you will be a part of that work. There are several ways you can get involved with our efforts:

  • Spread the word! Like and share our posts on social media (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram). By engaging with FairVote and your network on social media you are able to raise awareness about electoral reform issues and can begin important discussions with folks in your area about how electoral systems affect your community and what can be done to improve them.

  • Stay up to date on our blog. Every week we have new content that features analysis from our research team, offers our take on current and upcoming elections, and delves deeper into the opportunities for reform we see now and in the future.

  • Sign and share our petition to voice your support for RCV. Whether you live in a place where RCV is already used or you are hoping to improve local, state, and federal elections in the future, signing and sharing the petition is a great way to voice your support and encourage others to learn more. We have already seen over 2,200 people sign the petition in just a couple of weeks and we want to keep this momentum going!

  • Tell us why RCV matters to you! Share a testimonial telling us on why this is the time for reform and why RCV is the reform that we need. These testimonials may be shared on our website or social media to show the many reasons people believe in this reform.

  • Join our RCV Google Group to connect with others in your area who are ready to take action. There are a lot of people from across the country who have already joined and are having exciting conversations about what can be done in their area. The membership in the google group is growing every day, so join now and find folks near you who share your passion for reform.

  • Start a conversation. Talk with folks in your community about the issues that they see with elections. A great way to do this is to organize a group of people and use the model of Living Room Conversations for a more organized dialogue designed to see if people with different views can find areas of agreement. Use this template for a ranked choice voting living room conversation to guide the discussion.

  • Get involved with local RCV communities. Supporters are already organizing in California, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Washington.

  • Reach out to your elected representatives: Reach out to Members of Congress, state representatives and local elected officials about your support for better elections and a greater voice for voters, and alert them to FairVote’s resources on ranked choice voting.

  • Consider submitting a letter to the editor in a local paper in favor of RCV.  Letters to the editor and Op-Eds go a long way to raising awareness about the need for electoral reform. By writing a letter to the editor or Op-Ed you may find that your interest in electoral reform is shared by many in your community. We are ready and willing to help folks that are interested in writing a piece. Feel free to contact us as you are getting started.

  • Use our Ranked Choice Voting Activist Toolkit to learn about ways that you can make change in your community. Start with our Community Assessment, which will help you understand the rules and structures that determine how your elections function and what needs to be done to change those rules. Once you have gotten started, contact our advocacy staff and we can help you strategize on the best ways to move forward.

  • In addition to donating your time and energy, you can also support us financially. Contributions of any amount go a long way towards realizing our reform vision, and we truly appreciate them.

FairVote is excited and prepared to build off of this momentum. We're looking forward to working with reformers across the country to continue this important work.

Editor's Note: This article, written by Grace Ramsey, originally published on FairVote's blog.

Photo Credit: Steve Heap /

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