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Voice for Democracy
Newsletter of Californians for Electoral Reform
In This Issue
How to Talk With People About IRV and PR
Do you tell people there is a better way to vote? Do you walk around town wearing a CfER t-shirt? Well, however you get the conversation started, people are likely to ask you what IRV is, and what PR is. It is very important to have simple answers to both questions. Here are one sentence explanations of IRV and PR from a number of CfER activists. If you don't already have your own, you can use one of these or take one and modify it. Read the explanations here.
CfER sponsored AB 1121 on ranked voting in general law cities and counties gets to the Senate floor. AB 308 on ranked ballots for overseas voters stays in the Senate Appropriations Committee. AB 30 on preregistration by 17 year olds is sent to the Governor for his signature. Rob Dickinson and Paula Lee report on CfER's legislative program.
While we are winning support for IRV and PR from legislators, that support is not sufficiently bipartisan. The lack of significant support from Republicans hurts us.
We need to figure out why this is so, and what to do about it. To this end, CfER founder Jim Lindsay has volunteered to lead a task force to study our relationship with Republicans and conservatives, and to recommend actions to improve this relationship. Read CfER president Steve Chessin's report on this new initiative.
Over the past ten years, three charter cities in Alameda County have amended their charters to allow or require the use of instant runoff voting in various circumstances, but none of them have yet used IRV in any city elections. It looks like 2010 may be the year in which IRV is finally implemented in one or more Alameda County cities' municipal elections. Get the details in Dave Kadeleck's report.
Instant Runoff Voting is getting a lot of attention in San Jose these days and there is a growing possibility that an IRV charter amendment will make the ballot in 2010. Read more in this report from New America's Blair Bobier.
We don't articulate it very often, but CfER does have a strategy for bringing IRV and PR to California (as well as nationally). Here is a four-phase strategy, and the assumptions on which it is based. Read Steve Chessin's take on strategy.
NATIONAL NEWS FROM FAIRVOTE
This coming year IRV advocates face key opportunities and challenges, including a November ballot measure in St. Paul, Minnesota, and three repeal efforts triggered by nervous partisans. Lurking are chances to win IRV in a growing number of states, including a new ballot measure drive launched by a Massachusetts coalition that includes former gubernatorial candidate Jill Stein. Here is our national report from FairVote's Rob Richie.
We cover the Repair California campaign for a state constutional convention, progress in Long Beach, and IRV at the Academy Awards here.
Help us grow! Download, print and distribute this membership flyer.
Californians for Electoral Reform (CfER) is a statewide citizens' group promoting election reforms that ensure that our government fairly represents the voters. We are a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization with members from across the political spectrum. Since our founding in May of 1993, our numbers have grown from about two dozen to hundreds of members participating in local chapters across California.
OUR ELECTORAL SYSTEM IS IMPORTANT
The method by which we vote has dramatic consequences, and nearly one third of the state's electorate consistently goes without a representative that speaks for them in Sacramento. The choice of electoral system can determine whether there will be "spoilers" or vote-splitting effects, majority sweeps of representation on city councils, or pervasive negative campaigning. The choice of electoral system determines whether minority perspectives or racial and ethnic minority groups receive fair representation or get shut out of the process entirely.
CfER IS THE LEADING ADVOCACY GROUP FOR THESE REFORMS IN CALIFORNIA
CfER works for legislation that would allow cities and counties to adopt voting methods that allow people to rank their preferences when they vote CfER also works with activists in its local chapters to enact fair election methods in cities and counties across the state.
more information about CfER, please visit
CfER was established by citizens like you who think that our government should be representative of the people. A lot of progress is already being made, but the future depends on you.
To join CfER, or renew your membership, please visit
We will soon be able to accept contributions on our website. Meanwhile, checks payable to "Californians for Electoral Reform" or "CfER" can be mailed to the address below.
for Democracy is published by
Californians for Electoral Reform
Sacramento, CA 95812
Contents copyright © 2009 by Californians for Electoral Reform. Signed articles are the responsibility of their authors and do not necessarily reflect the positions of Californians for Electoral Reform.