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Pages tagged "Topic:Ranked Choice Voting"

Brief: Breaking Barriers for Black Women Candidates

RepresentWomen is committed to researching, understanding, and championing evidence-based solutions that support a healthy democracy with gender-balanced representation in elected and appointed positions at every level of government. This brief is the first installment in a new series that outlines the systems-level and candidate-level factors impacting Black women's political participation and representation in U.S. politics. 

This brief does not aim to be comprehensive; future research will further address the barriers Black women face when running for office and the hurdles Black women face when in elected office. This research will also uplift what needs to be done to level the playing field and allow Black women to run, win, serve, and lead equitably. 

Summary:

Black women have historically been, and continue to be, underrepresented at every level of government in the United States for cultural and structural reasons. Among these are biases, misogynoir, and flawed political practices. Increasing Black women’s political power and representation must enable equitable access to political and financial resources and reform our antiquated voting system. 

This brief surveys three key barriers Black women face when running for office: the current criterion of political party recruitment, traditional funding practices, and plurality voting. We then propose actionable avenues for change, which would not just expand opportunities for Black women in politics but ameliorate our democracy.

Our key takeaways are as follows: 

  • Early investment by political parties advances Black women in politics. This involves setting candidate recruitment targets and quotas and implementing networking and mentorship initiatives in partnership with candidate organizations. 
  • Donors should adopt gender and race-balanced funding measures to fund Black women’s campaigns. PACs and donors can model these initiatives after those already existing in other industries. 
  • Public financing programs (PFPs) empower Black women candidates to run competitive campaigns by amplifying small-dollar donations and limiting the impact of big money.
  • RCV creates opportunities for Black women candidates by eliminating split votes and enabling non-status quo candidates to lead viable campaigns. 
  • PRCV enhances these opportunities by allowing communities to elect candidates in proportion to their percentage of the population.

Download the Brief 


Slidedeck: PRCV in the US Timeline

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/e/2PACX-1vTAh6HKwVhQ7v7gAKsKWLJ6aCJEIoK3YcekBj9OaOdrMV-FQUxbUc8HTSunRMi16crU168ODeQBoLWF/embed?start=false&loop=false&delayms=600000800400truetruetrue

RepresentWomen researches and advances the best practices for reaching gender-balanced governance in the U.S. Our research shows that voting systems shape the opportunities women have to run for office and get elected. This timeline accompanies a new brief that analyses the impact of proportional ranked choice voting (PRCV) on women's representation in the United States. Through this timeline, we highlight milestones for women thought leaders and elected officials who have contributed to the ongoing story of PRCV in the U.S. Both the brief and timeline are part of an ongoing series updating our research on voting systems in the U.S. and the impact different systems have on women’s political representation. Previous installments in this series covered voting systems around the world and the impact of ranked choice voting (RCV) on women’s representation.

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Brief: Proportional Ranked Choice Voting

RepresentWomen researches and advances the best practices for reaching gender-balanced governance in the U.S. Our research shows that voting systems shape the opportunities women have to run for office and get elected. This brief is part of an ongoing series updating our research on voting systems in the U.S. and the impact different systems have on women’s political representation. Previous installments in this series covered voting systems around the world and the impact of ranked choice voting (RCV) on women’s representation. The following brief covers how proportional ranked choice voting (PRCV) works, the history of PRCV in the United States, the issues with our current plurality/winner-take-all (WTA) system, and why PRCV is the best system to advance women’s political representation in the U.S.

Summary:

RepresentWomen’s research shows that progress toward political parity is slow and uneven in the United States. Our research also shows that our current WTA voting system is partially to blame for the underrepresentation of women in politics because it rewards gatekeeping behaviors that prevent women from running for office. By removing the barriers women face, system strategies such as PRCV facilitate candidate entry, increase competition, drive deeper candidate-constituent relationships, decrease polarization, and yield more representative outcomes.

Based on the available evidence, we have found that PRCV mitigates the threat of majority tyranny and places power back in the hands of voters, paving the way toward a gender-balanced and representative democracy. 

  • PRCV creates opportunities for women candidates to enter politics by eliminating fears of vote splitting, decreasing campaign costs, reducing incumbency advantage, and encouraging candidate recruitment. 
  • PRCV enables multiple constituencies to elect candidates of choice. Because PRCV elections are multi-winner, multiple interest groups can be represented within the same district, allowing for diverse governing coalitions in terms of gender, race, and ideology. 
  • Women played a critical role in advancing PRCV within the United States. Not only does PRCV have a deep history of use within the United States, but women have been a part of this movement from the beginning. 
  • PRCV resulted in the election of the first women on several city councils, including in Cleveland, OH; New York, NY; Hamilton, OH; and Cambridge, MA. 
  • PRCV is the only form of PR compatible with all United States elections – both partisan and nonpartisan. The majority of local elections are nonpartisan, and PRCV is the only PR system that has been tried in the U.S. 

View the Brief 


Shareables: RCV + Representation Toolkit

RepresentWomen has complied some of our most salient resources to create our RCV + Representation Toolkit! This toolkit includes:

  • 2-pager Summaries
  • Data Visualization
  • Full-length research reports
  • And more!

The aim is that this RCV + Representation Toolkit will equip you to speak more fluently and confidently to the benefits RCV has specifically on representation in your lobby and advocacy work.

The target audience for this toolkit are individuals and organizations who are active in advancing RCV in their localities. 

 

Download the RCV + Representation Toolkit 

 

https://representwomen.app.box.com/embed/s/fwo1s8lqy3dtu63j333zec29swmvaewn?sortColumn=date8005500


Brief: Impact Analysis of NYC's Woman Majority Council

In the 2021 ranked choice voting primary elections, women in New York City made history, securing a majority on the city council. Two years later, RepresentWomen sought to uncover the impact of a woman majority council, as well as which barriers persist despite these women being in office.

The questions we sought to answer include:

  1. What are the primary benefits of having a woman majority council? More specifically, who benefits from a woman majority and why?
  2. What challenges and barriers remain, despite a woman majority, and what needs to be done to sustain a gender-balanced council?
  3. Which legislation passed by women in the past session is most notable and why? Does this notable legislation disproportionately impact women?
  4. Why were women essential in getting these issues to the table? Would these issues have been addressed otherwise?

Our research found that a woman of color majority council had a significant impact on both women’s issues, such as maternal health, menstrual equity, childcare access, and reproductive rights, as well as gender-neutral issues, such as ensuring salary transparency, language access and cost-of-living adjustments for all New Yorkers. Having women in leadership positions as well as a built-in majority on the Women’s Caucus were both instrumental in creating this impact. 

In sum, the impact of a woman majority city council includes: 

  1. Women in leadership positions create a ripple effect, enabling women to uplift one another and reducing bias across the council.
  2. Diversity on the council leads to a shift in priorities; Since the majority women of color council better mirrors the demographics of the city, this allows for a wider variety of issues to be brought to the table. 
  3. A larger Women’s Caucus has become more legislatively efficient, particularly regarding reproductive rights and maternal healthcare. With a built-in majority, the women don’t have to fight to explain why these issues are essential. 
  4. Structural barriers persist, impacting the woman council members' day-to-day work. With dated buildings and protocols, women face barriers that are unique and more pervasive than for their men counterparts.

All New Yorkers benefit from a diverse council. The council’s shared lived experiences with their constituents, different legislative perspectives, and representation of their communities make its members prone to collaborate, understand one another, and support each other to serve both their districts and the city as a whole.

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Snapshot: International Voting Systems

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This map shows the different voting systems used across the world.
  • Proportional (PR) systems represent subgroups according to a party or candidate's vote share.
  • Semi-Proportional (Semi-PR) systems combine elements of proportional and plurality-majority systems. Semi-PR systems are often more representative than non-PR systems because they ensure that political minorities are at least somewhat represented. 
  • Plurality-Majority systems allow the candidate with the most votes to win, no matter how slim the margin.

Voting systems are the rules and procedures that determine how people are elected. Each system informs how ballots are designed, how people cast their votes, how the results are counted, and how the winners are determined. The type of voting system can greatly impact voter turnout, the role of political parties, candidate engagement, and representation in government. 

To read more about the voting systems used around the world, see our International Voting Systems Memo


Dashboard: Ranked Choice Voting and Women's Representation in the U.S.

In 2022, we released an interactive dashboard to present the latest data on women's representation in ranked choice cities. In addition to providing summary data on where ranked choice voting (RCV) is used and its impact on local representation, the RCV Dashboard includes updated case studies on the impact of ranked voting on women's representation in Cambridge, New York City, the Bay Area, and Utah.

For more information about RCV and its impact on women's representation, check out our 2023 Ranked Choice Voting Memo.

infogram_0_f45a9b75-7958-4bcd-b51b-adb30abd22e42022 RCV Dashboardhttps://e.infogram.com/js/dist/embed.js?wyMtext/javascript

Updated: January 2023

 


Memo: Ranked Choice Voting and Women's Representation

The following memo presents an update to our 2020 analysis of voting systems in the U.S. and their impact on women’s representation. 

Overall, we have found that women continue to fare better in jurisdictions that use ranked choice voting than in cities with plurality voting systems. Of the 31 cities that use ranked choice voting to elect their executives (mayors), 12 (39%) are currently represented by women. In the 41 cities that use ranked choice voting to elect their legislatures (councils, boards), almost half of all electeds (147 of 300, or 49%) are women.

RCV remains one of the most promising tools for advancing women’s representation in the United States.

For more information about our work and the resources we provide, please contact our team at [email protected].

Released: January 23, 2023

Executive Summary: 

RCV is one of the most promising tools for advancing women’s representation in the United States.  Of the 31 cities that use ranked choice voting to elect their executives (mayors), 12 (39%) are currently represented by women. In the 41 cities that use ranked choice voting to elect their legislatures (councils, boards), almost half of all electeds (147 of 300, or 49%) are women. 

Systems-level strategies, like RCV, advance gender parity by creating a level playing field for all candidates and eliminating the opportunity barriers that exist under plurality voting. Though women are underrepresented at every level of government in the U.S., holding less than one-third of all elected positions, women in ranked choice jurisdictions are better represented.  

Ranked Choice Voting creates more opportunities for women to run and win by:

  1. Mitigating vote splitting and the spoiler effect. Women, more often than men, are told to “wait their turn” and are viewed as less electable by party leaders in plurality elections. In RCV elections, multiple women can run without splitting the vote and spoiling an election. 
  2. Increasing campaign civility. Positive campaigning benefits both candidates and voters. When candidates are less focused on launching or defending negative attacks from competitors, they can spend more time campaigning on issues that matter to voters to earn broader support. 
  3. Removing a need for costly runoff elections. Runoffs are often expensive and lead to lower voter turnout. RCV mitigates this by acting as an “instant runoff” where voters’ second and third choices are counted immediately. For women candidates, who often need to outraise men to win, RCV helps them focus on what matters most: connecting with voters.
  4. Increasing candidate-voter engagement and voter turnout. In RCV, candidates are incentivized to seek broader support in the form of first-, second-, and third-choice votes. This approach results in voters feeling they have more of a stake in the election, boosting turnout. 

Ranked choice voting advances women’s representation at the state and city level: 

Women’s Representation in RCV Cities

The impact of RCV on women’s representation is best demonstrated at the local level, which has long been the testing ground for new voting systems. Of the 30 mayors in RCV cities today, 12 (40%) are women, nine are people of color (30%), and four are women of color (13%). In city councils, 147 of 300 RCV seats (49%) are held by women, 96 by people of color (34%), and 55 (20%) by women of color. Comparatively, women held 32% of all local offices as of March 2022. 

Women’s Representation in RCV States

RCV is currently used at the state-level in two states, Maine and Alaska. Maine became the first state to use ranked choice voting in 2018. That same year, Janet Mills became the first woman governor of Maine and first governor elected by ranked choice voting following the state’s first ranked choice primary. In other statewide offices, there was a 6.4% increase in women candidates and 9.3% increase in women winners from the 2014/16 non-RCV elections to the 2018/20 RCV elections. Correspondingly, Maine’s parity score in our annual Gender Parity Index has steadily risen since RCV was first introduced. Alaska’s first use of RCV took place in 2022.

View the Memo 


Snapshot: RCV Day 2023

Women consist of over half the world's population, but continue to be vastly underrepresented in political office worldwide. Existing research shows that diversity among political officeholders allows for more effective lawmaking; women's political representation is a vital component in realizing this goal. 

A number of electoral reforms allows for women to run, win, serve, and lead more effectively. Ranked choice voting is one of these systems-level changes. This snapshot displays where RCV is currently used in the U.S., how RCV helps women win, data regarding women and RCV at the local level, and testemonials from women elected by RCV.

 

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Snapshot: Mayors in RCV Cities

Ranked choice voting has positive impacts for women's representation in politics; this snapshot displays women's representation in cities that have implemented RCV as of January 2023. Twelve of 30 cities (40%) have women mayors. Read more about RCV and women's representation in our 2023 memo here

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