Government by the People is a non-partisan political action committee working to reform our political system
and make it more genuinely democratic
by getting The Representation for All Act passed into law
in Congress and as many states as possible.
Representation for All is a version of ranked choice voting
that includes open choices for voters across districts and states and weighted voting for legislators based on how many voters they represent.
The Representation for All Act allows voters to select, as their representatives, the members of each legislative body (House of Representative and Senate, both in Congress and in state legislatures) who they feel best represents them, using an open version of ranked choice voting. Each voter would be able to cast a ballot listing a number of candidates for each legislative body, in order of preference.
To give voters the greatest possible range of choices with regard to who will represent them in a legislative body, voters would be able to cast write-in votes for candidates in other states or congressional districts (for seats in Congress) and in other legislative districts (for seats in state legislatures).
Write-in votes for candidates in states or districts other than a voter’s own state or district would not be counted for purposes of deciding which candidates are elected. In the event that a candidate from another state or district does not win election, a voter’s subsequent choices would be utilized to determine which senator or representative will represent that voter.
The tabulation process would be as follows:
The candidate with the lowest number of first choice votes is eliminated and the second-choice votes of voters who voted for that candidate as their first choice are distributed among the remaining candidates.
The candidate with the fewest accumulated votes is then eliminated and the second- or third-choice votes of voters who voted for that candidate as their first or second choice are distributed among the remaining candidates.
This process is repeated until the number of remaining candidates is equal to the number of senators or representatives to be elected. Those candidates are elected.
Write-in votes from voters in other legislative districts (or states) would then be added to the vote totals of those candidates who won election.
In all votes taken in a legislative body (including committee votes and procedural votes), senators and representatives would be able to cast a number of votes equal to the number of voters who chose them as their representative (or a fractional vote based on relative vote totals).
Twenty-four states allow citizens to propose and pass legislation and/or amendments to state constitutions, without the involvement or approval of a state legislature or governor, through the initiative. The process involves submitting a proposal for a law or constitutional amendment, gathering the required number of signatures on petitions to get a proposal on the ballot, and then having the voters approve it.
Although there are some Democrats and Republicans in Congress and state legislatures who support ranked-choice voting, our best chance of enacting this fundamental reform is through ballot proposals in states with the initiative. It is no accident that the first state to enact RCV (Maine) did so through a ballot proposal or that all three of the state-wide campaigns currently underway are in states with the initiative (Missouri, Massachusetts, and Alaska).
The twenty-four states with some form of initiative are: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.
The process is easier in some states than others. Some states require a greater number of signatures to place a proposal on the ballot, require a super-majority for a proposal to become law, or have restrictions on what can be done through the initiative.
Ranked-choice voting allows voters to vote for more than one candidate, ranking their choices in order of preference, for an executive office (governor, lieutenant governor, etc.) or for seats in state legislatures with multiple member districts.
Using ranked choice voting with multi-member districts to elect members of a legislative body results in proportional representation – with political parties holding a percentage of the seats in a legislature equal to the percentage of the votes candidates from each party receive in an election.
By allowing voters to write-in candidates from other districts, The Representation for All Act greatly increases the number of choices for voters. Weighted voting gives added weight to the votes of those legislators who represent the most voters.
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