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Electoral Reform
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Statewide IRV & PR Campaigns

This is a list of what are the current statewide IRV & Proportional Voting Campaigns, and how you can get involved.

If any information here is missing or incorrect, please send the correct information here.

In general, please contact Paula Lee or Pete Martineau with questions or ideas regarding state legislation.


Campaign What is it? CfER Position Status Date For More Info /
To Get Involved
IRV for Special Elections A bill to allow all counties to use IRV for state and congressional special elections. A top CfER Priority Senator Loni Hancock and Assemblymember Mike Eng introduced identical bills this year, AB 2732 and SB 1346. Unfortunately, they died in committee this year. We hope these bill will be reintroced in the next legislative sessin. June 2010 Paula Lee
Local Option for Ranked Voting A bill to allow all local jurisdictions to use IRV and Choice voting. A top CfER Priority AB 1121 passed the Assembly, failed to pass the Senate in late 2009, by a very close vote, unfortunately. We'll have to look for another opportunity to get this bill introduced and passed. December 2009 Rob Dickinson
IRV for Overseas Voters We are pushing for a bill to allow overseas votes -- most of whom are in the military -- to vote by IRV whenever a run-off election is possible. Otherwise, they are often cut off from voting in the runoff election due to the fact that they are so far away, and the runoffs usually happen quickly. IRV for overseas voters is already done in a number of states. A CfER Priority The bill is now dead for this legislative session. It was taken over for a completely different purpose. Assemblyman Cook will re-enter it in the next session, and is confident that its passage is just a matter of time. June 2010 Bob Richard
(415)446-9609
Election Procedures Language in the Election Code that specifies how to count IRV and PR elections in California. Election Administrators have often opposed the implementation of IRV because this isn't in the Elections Code. A CfER Priority The Secretary of State's office is working on these standards. March 2008 Paula Lee
California Constitutional Convention A coalition has been formed to promote a new constitution for California via a Constitutional Convention. Endorsed The intent was to force this convention by petition, since the legislature was disinclined to put it on the ballot. In early 2010, the coalition announced that the effort was being "suspended", due to lack of funds. So it looks like this is not going to happen anytime soon. February 2010 Repair California
IRV Bill A bill to amend the California constitution to specify the use of IRV for all executive offices and all legislative positions as long single member districts are used. Would not preclude multi-member districts elected using PR. This would require a vote of the people. We'd be happy to see such a bill. An IRV bill would be useful as an educational and organizing vehicle. Also, it would help set the stage, so that when the time is right, we could get it submitted and passed. June 2006 (We are looking for people to coordinate this effort. Please contact CfER President Steve Chessin if you are interested.)
National Popular Vote Would help establish direct election of the President by joining in an interstate compact. California and other states in the compact would specify that they will allocate all of their presidential electors based on whomever receives the most votes in the national election. This will only take effect when states with a majority of the electoral college votes have joined the compact. At that point, the President of the United States will be determined by popular vote. Endorsed SB 37 has passed both the Assembly and the Senate. However, the governor vetoed this bill in 2006, and it is unknown at this time if he has changed his mind or not. Nationally, 4 states have passed NPV so far, with active legislation in most other states ongoing. We currently have 50 of the 270 electoral votes we need for NPV to become reality. August 2008 National Popular Vote, or CfER's Rob Dickinson
Voter Education & Enfranchisement We support all types of voter education & enfranchisement, where fiscally responsible and effective. We typically endorse these bills, but these are not our priority. We endorsed AB 2958 (August 2008), which would educate absentee voters that they can wait until election day to vote and turn in their ballot at their precinct. They can do this for any reason, such as waiting until election day to decide how to vote, or if they simply forgot to mail their ballot in on time.
We endorsed AB 30 (Feb. 2009), which would have allowed youth to pre-registration to vote.
We endorsed AB 787 (June 2009), helping voters know how much postage they need for mail in ballots.
June 2009 Paula Lee
Redistricting Reform These bills usually address egregious gerrymanding via mandating redistricting be managed by a commission or by a strict formula. Neutral Many CfER members support redistricting reform as an incremental but important improvement over the current situation. Many others believe that redistricting reform completely misses the point. Thus, CfER has a Neutral position on this issue.

However, The Board and membership as a whole agree that we need to replace single-member districts with multi-member districts, elected by Proportional Voting. (Note, however, as long as we have single-member districts, we support using IRV in those districts.)

November 2006 Paula Lee
Statewide Initiative A statewide petition campaign for IRV and/or Proportional Voting No position We have historically discouraged activists from attempting a statewide initiative. This is because it would take something like a million signatures just to get it on the ballot. Then, in the election campaign, it would take many millions of dollars to win the campaign. And, finally, we'd also have to win the inevitable lawsuit.

We need to win locally to bring IRV and Proportional Voting into the normal fabric of voting in California, convince larger and more powerful groups to make these issues a top priority, and have broad support for IRV and/or Proportional Voting before this is feasible.

June 2006 Steve Chessin
Citizen's Assembly Would establish a powerful Citizen's Assembly that would take a fresh look at California election procedures. The state legislature would have to act upon their recommendations, or the recommendations would go directly to a vote of the people. A similar assembly recommended PR for Canada, which won majority support there in 2005. The idea is strongly supported by CfER. The proposal was introduced as ACA 28 in 2006 but did not even get a hearing, much less pass. We hope it will be reintroduced in the future. November 2006 Paula Lee

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Page last revised June 15, 2010