Home Don Beyer Video: Rep. Don Beyer, Colleagues Introduce the Fair Representation Act

Video: Rep. Don Beyer, Colleagues Introduce the Fair Representation Act

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Have I mentioned recently how much I love my Congressman, Don Beyer? Here’s yet another example why I say that, from a bit earlier today.

According to Fair Vote, Rep. Beyer’s “groundbreaking legislation would reform Congressional elections, defeat gerrymandering, combat political polarization, and most importantly, give voters real voice and choice when electing their representatives.” As described by Rep. Beyer, this legislation would: 1) establish ranked-choice voting for all House elections; 2) replace the single-winner district mandate with multi-winner districts; 3) establishes independent redistricting commissions to make the process “nonpartisan and transparent.” Beyer explains why we need the Fair Representation Act: 1) it “incentives us to work together”; 2) “everybody’s vote counts, not just those people that live in swing districts”; 3) it “reduces polarization and partisanship”; 4) “it gives voters more choices and more accurate representation”; 5) “it creates a system where women and minorities will have a greater opportunity to run and to win”; 6) “it creates a strong reason not to do negative advertising”; 7) “we don’t need to raise as much money.”

Beyer Introduces Fair Representation Act To Reform Congressional Elections
Announces new legislation with co-leads Reps. Raskin and Khanna, representatives from FairVote and Third Way

June 26, 2017 (Washington, DC) – Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA) today introduced the Fair Representation Act, a bill which would enact a series of measures designed to reform congressional elections.

“The Fair Representation Act is designed to restore the faith which so many Americans have lost in our political system,” said Rep. Don Beyer. “This bill would ensure that every voter has their voice represented in Congress, and make real progress towards bipartisan focus on getting results for the American people.”

Rep. Beyer was joined by Reps. Ro Khanna (D-CA) and Jamie Raskin (D-MD), co-leads on the bill, as well as speakers from FairVote and Third Way.

“The Fair Representation Act is the most comprehensive approach to improving congressional elections in American history,” said Rob Richie, the executive director of FairVote. “It creates an impartial, national standard that gets at the core of FairVote’s mission: Giving voters greater choice, a stronger voice, and a representative democracy that works for all Americans.”

The Fair Representation Act would move US House elections into multi-member districts drawn by independent redistricting commissions, and elected through ranked choice voting. The multi-member districts would be effective in states apportioned six or more seats in the House, and would elect three to five Representatives each, depending on the size of the state. Taken together, these three measures would incentivize congressional candidates to appeal to a broader range of voters.

“No single reform would create more opportunities for women and people of color from across the spectrum to compete in fair elections,” said Cynthia Terrell, founder of Representation2020. “It is central to our vision of how we achieve parity for women in congressional elections.”

Full text of the bill may be found here, and more resources, including factsheets and FAQ’s, are available from FairVote here.

  • C Pruett

    Go Don, Go.

    Are there any states that have implememted this or would it have to be done on the federal level?

  • Michael Beer

    Beyer has been an outstanding representative. This legislation is long overdue, but has required an incumbent with courage to stick his neck out and lead. We also need this at the state and local level. Voting reform that would increase turnout….imagine that.

    • Agreed. I just wish that someone had introduced this legislation back in 2009, when Dems controlled Congress and the White House.

      • dave schutz

        I’m thinking that our district might be the combined areas now represented by Comstock, Connolly, and Beyer. Would there be enough Reeps in the combined district to give Comstock one of the seats, or would it go to 3 Dems? Don’t know. Connolly would be paying more attention to Arlington issues, and Beyer to those of PW County. Illinois used to have multimember districts, and dropped them – it wasn’t ranked choice voting which elected them, though.

  • More good stuff from Rep. Beyer:

    Ranking Members Johnson, Bonamici, and Beyer Request Investigation into EPA Interference with Environmental Scientist’s Testimony to Committee

    (Washington, DC) – Democratic leaders of the House Science, Space, & Technology Committee sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Inspector General (IG) yesterday requesting that he investigate potentially illegal attempts by senior EPA officials, particularly Ryan T. Jackson, the EPA’s Chief of Staff, to interfere with Democratic witness, Dr. Deborah Swackhamer’s, testimony to the Science Committee last month. The Members also sent a separate letter to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt outlining their concerns regarding this attempted interference.

    The letter was signed by Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX), Ranking Member of the Science, Space & Technology Committee; Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Environment; and Don Beyer (D-VA), Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Oversight.

    The letter to EPA IG Arthur Elkins asked his office to examine several questions, including whether the attempted interference with the testimony of Dr. Deborah Swackhamer to the Science Committee by EPA officials violated any federal regulations or laws, and whether staff in the EPA’s Office of the Administrator have received training regarding the rights of individuals to communicate with Congress.

    In the letter to EPA IG Elkins, the Members wrote: “The ability of both federal officials and private citizens to freely communicate with Congress without fear of intimidation, interference, or reprisal is a bipartisan issue that is critical to ensuring good governance and uncovering issues of potential waste, fraud, abuse, or mismanagement. Ensuring that both private and federally-funded scientists are able to speak freely about the scientific merits of their research, as well as management issues within their agencies, programs, or organizations, is also critical to Congress’s ability to carry out our oversight responsibilities. We appreciate your role as the EPA’s watchdog to ensure that federal scientists are not silenced, and we trust that you will keep a close eye on these issues.”

  • Frank Leone

    I love Don Beyer, but we need to focus on making(1) voting simpler and easier and (2) redistricting non partisan. Asking voters to rank among multiple candidates will lead to confusion, delays, and lines. Below is SBE guidance on 80 ways to screw up your ballot and have it count and 50 ways where it won’t count. During the Herring recount, we found more. We should focus on early voting, high school pre-registration, upgraded voting equipment, an end to former felon disenfranchisement, and a number of other reforms to help people vote. Also, the last time we had multi-member districts (Va HoD), they were struck down as violating the Voting Rights Act.
    http://www.elections.virginia.gov/Files/ElectionAdministration/ElectionLaw/ExamplesforHandcounting.pdf