Saturday, May 21, 2022

Play

The election fraud movement resurfaces on the campaign trail, Vice President Harris and abortion providers discuss an action plan, and as New Mexico's wildfires rage, nearby states face high fire danger.

Play

Pennsylvania's Republican U.S. Senate Primary still too close to call, a $40 billion Ukraine aid bill is headed to President Biden's desk, and Oklahoma passes the strictest abortion bill in the country.

Play

From off-Broadway to West Virginia: the stories of the deadly Upper Big Branch mine explosion, baby formula is on its way back to grocery shelves, and federal funds will combat consolidation in meatpacking.

Proportional Elections Seen as Representing More Communities, Coalitions

Play

Thursday, January 13, 2022   

Advocates for democracy reform say there is another way to hold elections that will better represent more communities.

Proportional representation would be a change from the way current elections are run as winner-take-all affairs where people must win more than half of the votes.

Sol Mora, civic-engagement manager with the Coalition of Communities of Color in Oregon, said people of color don't make up 50 percent of the electorate in most places, so they often struggle for proper representation under this system.

"Proportional elections on the other hand," said Mora, "they're a voting system that really works to ensure that minority groups have a measure of representation in proportion to their share of the voters."

Portland currently is in the middle of a once-in-a-decade city charter review and reconsidering its city council makeup. Advocates want the commission examining the charter to look into setting up proportional representation.

Any suggested changes to the charter will go before Portland voters in November.

Mora said proportional elections would create more diverse coalitions for candidates.

"For example, renters in the city or folks that support climate action," said Mora. "It's really creating an avenue for any of those groups of voters who can rally behind the ideas and values that they share to actually elect someone who also shares those beliefs."

Mora said alternative forms for election are in place across the country, including in Benton County, Oregon, which uses ranked-choice voting in which voters rank candidates in order of preference.

Jay Lee is a research associate with the democracy program at the Northwest think tank Sightline Institute. He said proportional representation has a number of upsides, especially for communities of color.

He said it also could reduce the amount of money spent on campaigns since candidates would need to win over a smaller percentage of voters.

"You reduce the incentive to spend more and more and more money on advertising budgets and campaign spending," said Lee, "just to get that last half a percent over your opponent."

Lee said reducing how much is spent on elections also could lower the barrier for new candidates and small campaigns.



Disclosure: Sightline Institute contributes to our fund for reporting on Civic Engagement, Energy Policy, Sustainable Agriculture, Urban Planning/Transportation. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
In New Mexico, where major wildfires continue to burn, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has warned residents to be ready for evacuations all summer because of strong winds, higher temperatures fueled by climate change, and no significant precipitation on the horizon. (Wikipedia)

Environment

New Mexico continues to battle the largest wildfires in its history, and other states including Nevada, along with parts of Arizona and Colorado…


Social Issues

A new museum exhibition in Baltimore opening to the public today aims to tell the story of Maryland's fight for civil rights, both in the past and …

Social Issues

Virginia's food banks are facing a perfect storm of issues. High inflation for everyday goods is driving up food costs for lower-income families…


In Missouri, no health insurance -- not even private policies -- can be used for abortions. Vice President Kamala Harris joined providers Thursday to discuss the next steps. (The White House)

Health and Wellness

Vice President Kamala Harris met with abortion providers from Missouri and other restrictive states Thursday to consider ways the Biden administration…

Health and Wellness

Today is National Bike to Work Day, and while it may sound "easier said than done," it may not be as daunting as you think. Enthusiasts said the …

Health and Wellness

A new report urges states to take steps to minimize Medicaid coverage loss when the state of emergency for the pandemic comes to an end. COVID …

Environment

New York elected officials are calling on the General Assembly to pass legislation to transition new buildings off fossil fuels, saying it would make …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021