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What's the Deal with Runoff Elections?

Posted on Blog by on July 17, 2018

The 2018 primaries have hit a bit of a lull this July. From April to June of this year, 31 states and the District of Columbia voted in primary elections to choose their candidates for the November midterm elections. The next statewide party primaries aren’t until the first week of August when Tennessee and Michigan cast their ballots. What we have in the meantime? Runoff elections. Two states, Alabama and Georgia, are holding special runoff elections this July to determine the result of primaries in which no candidate garnered more than 50 percent of the vote.


Weekend Reading on Women's Representation July 13, 2018

Posted on Blog on July 13, 2018

Mexico now ranks 4th for women's representation worldwide! Women in Mexico, of course, are pretty much the same as women in the US but gender quotas and proportional voting are fueling women's electoral success there. RepresentWomen intern Jamie Solomon wrote about women's representation in Mexico last week and political scientists Jennifer Piscopo and Magda Hinojosa wrote an excellent piece for The Washington Post this week: While observers discuss leftist Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s victory in Mexico’s presidential election, complete with majorities in both chambers of congress and control of nearly half the governorships and state legislatures up for election, another historic earthquake has been overlooked: gender parity in congress.


#WomenToWatch on November 6

Posted on Blog by on July 13, 2018

#WomenToWatch is a series by RepresentWomen that documents rising women leaders and their stories. Debra (Deb) Haaland may well become the first Native American congresswoman in United States history come November. This June, she defeated Damon Martinez to win the Democratic primary in the race for New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District. Right now, the district is represented by Michelle Lujan Grisham, who is running for governor and is currently New Mexico’s only woman in Congress.


Weekend Reading on Women's Representation July 6, 2018

Posted on Blog on July 06, 2018

The New York Times wrote about women's representation in state legislatures and how those statistics are likely to change after the general elections in November. The piece quotes Katie Ziegler from the NCSL who rightly points out that the central reason that women remain underrepresented is because incumbents win re-election and incumbents are mostly men. While more women are projected to win this November, any that win in seats held by the opposite party are unlikely to hold on to those seats in the next election cycle - which confirms the need for reforms of our district design and voting systems: A record number of women won Nevada’s primaries in June. And there is now a possibility for the Legislature to have more women than men, which would be a first in United States history. Of the states that have had primaries so far, at least eight more have a shot at reaching or surpassing the 50 percent mark in November. To reach this milestone, however, a woman must win the general election in every district where at least one is running, a difficult feat. Some female candidates are running in districts favoring the other party, and many are challenging incumbents, who historically almost always win.


Strides Towards Gender Parity in Mexico

Posted on Blog by on July 06, 2018

In both the United States and Mexico, 2018 has been called “the year of the woman,” an inspiring phrase based on the surges of female political activism across the globe. Despite using the same battle cry, the electoral landscapes for women in the two countries are drastically different: according to the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s measurement of women’s representation in parliament, the US ranks 102rd internationally, while Mexico ranks a striking 9th. Such an incredible gap cannot be simply explained by only one factor; however, Mexico’s mandatory gender quotas for political parties, along with a combination of proportional and winner-take-all districts, are indelibly crucial components, offering insightful lessons for visibly urgent change in the US. Mexico has a history of legal support for parity in politics, but their most comprehensive and successive initiative has been the 2014 law requiring parties to ensure that 50% of candidates are female. Now, four years later, 42.5% of the lower house of Congress is female, an astounding number on par with Scandinavian countries. For contrast, the percentage of women in the US House of Representatives is not even 20%.


#WomenToWatch on July 17

Posted on Blog by on July 06, 2018

#WomenToWatch is a series by RepresentWomen that documents rising women leaders and their stories. Alabama holds primary runoff elections on July 17th, and Republicans will vote for their Lieutenant Governor nominee alongside a few House races. Women are few and far between in Alabama politics — Alabama receives a D in this year’s Gender Parity Index — but not so in this year’s race for governor and lieutenant governor. Kay Ivey, the Republican gubernatorial incumbent, won her primary handily and is a heavy favorite to win reelection in the deep-red state. The upcoming Republican primary runoff will decide if Twinkle Cavanaugh, the President of the Public Service Commission of Alabama and former chairwoman for the Alabama Republican Party, will appear with Ivey on the November ballot.


Weekend Reading on Women's Representation June 29, 2018

Posted on Blog on June 29, 2018

Research shows women govern differently than men in ways that change policy and even social attitudes. When more women get into politics, a lot more changes than you might think. Academics have found this over and over again: Women legislators are more likely to introduce legislation that specifically benefits women. They’re better at bringing funding back to their home districts. They get more done. A woman legislator, on average, passed twice as many bills as a male legislator in one recent session of Congress. But the research that stands out most shows that having more women in elected office fundamentally changes the way that society perceives women — and the way that young women think about themselves.



June 26 Primaries: Slow Progress for Women Candidates

Posted on Blog by on June 27, 2018

This Tuesday saw primaries in five states -- New York, Maryland, Colorado, Utah, and Oklahoma** -- and runoff elections in Mississippi and South Carolina. Dozens of women ran for their party’s nomination to the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate, as well as for statewide elected offices like Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of State. Currently, women are drastically underrepresented in Congress (20 percent) and in statewide elected office (23 percent).


#WomenToWatch on June 26

Posted on Blog by , , on June 23, 2018

Join us in turning public passion for gender parity into action and results