The Norman Transcript

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November 3, 2013

Vote needs reform

(Continued)

NORMAN —

The essential reform is electing House members with ranked choice voting in multi-member districts. As simple as voting 1-2-3 and proven in local elections, ranked choice voting rewards voters who cast sincere ballots and candidates who reach out to more voters. When used in multi-member districts, it guarantees more diverse representation.

As shown in our 50-state plan at FairVoting.us, the House would have fewer and larger districts drawn by independent commissions. Each voter would have one potent vote in elections for between three and five representatives, according to the district’s population. Like-minded voters could elect someone with about a quarter of the vote, meaning that most voters would first help nominate someone in a primary and then help elect a candidate in the general election.

Under our plan, every single multi-member district would likely elect representatives of both major parties. That these changes would reduce gridlock and foster better dialogue is not just conjecture. Illinois used a similar system for a century to elect its House of Representatives.

Congressional leaders often praise the Constitution. But the best way to honor the Constitution is through statutory reforms that would allow the Founders’ vision to work in modern politics. Let’s take the bold step of ending gerrymandering through the adoption of ranked choice voting by the start of the new decade.

Rob Richie is executive director and Devin McCarthy is a policy analyst at FairVote.org. For more info, email info@fairvote.org.

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