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Fair Vote

Formerly The Center for Voting and Democracy 

Fair Vote pushes IRV as improving democracy, while using propaganda and undemocratic methods to promote its agenda.

Fair Vote admits in their 2005 "990 filing" that they want to avoid having people ask questions about IRV. They also admit this is needed in order to get people to support something they don't understand.

From page 41 of Fair Vote's 2005 "990" (filing to the IRS by non-profits):

#3 "Making a strong case and neutralizing any opposition: By getting out early with the benefits of IRV, we headed off criticism of the system that would have accumulated naturally in a vacuum. The landslide win is a testament to this strategy, as history shows voters who don't understand a measure generally vote against it."

FairVote National Organization's last 3 years of 990 filings can be found at Guidestart here  (Registration required, but is free)

FairVote's 990s for 2005-2012 are archived here via these links                                                               

Fair Vote works to insert the IRV agenda into other election reformer groups's legislation:
"State Legislation and Congress
While highlighting the success of proportional voting at the local level, FairVote makes the case for reforming state and national elections and builds reform coalitions.  Converting one state’s elections to a proportional voting system will create a demonstration model for others to follow. ..FairVote analyzes where state reform is most possible, and works with local groups to bring about change.

Ultimately FairVote aims to implement voting systems reform at a federal level by using proportional voting systems in U.S. Congressional elections.  This could be achieved by merging the current single-member districts into multi-seat "
superdistricts" so that finally federal government will begin to reflect all of us..."

Fair Vote is based in Takoma Park, Maryland, and implemented IRV yet voter turnout has been embarrassingly low, the 2nd and 3rd ranked choices have yet to come into play , and Takoma Park has zero (0) minority representation on its City Council.

Fair Vote has an offshoot that provides election services.

The Election Services Group
We perform your elections.

Since 1992, FairVote has been dedicated to fair elections where every vote counts and
all voters are represented. As a catalyst for reform, we conduct research, analysis, education and
advocacy to build understanding of and support for more democratic voting systems.
Through our IRV America Program, we advocate instant runoff voting (IRV) as an alternative to
plurality elections and traditional runoff elections. Our Election Services Group (ESG) also consults
on electoral systems and implementation, with a focus on non-governmental elections.

We provide full service consulting on all aspects of elections. 
We have worked with organizations that include large companies,
small non-profit organizations and political parties. We are experts in all aspects of elections,
including voting equipment, hardware, software, and procedures.
We can help you figure out the election solution that is right for you.


Simple Online, Electronic or by Mail IRV Vote: FairVote's Election Services Group has
highlighted three options for implementing this method of IRV, as well as the services and assistance
that we are able to provide.

Full Service Corporate Elections
General consulting on electoral design:  Our consultants will work with you to clarify the goals
of your election, select an appropriate electoral system.

Elections training:  Our consultants will work with you to choose balloting technologies that are right for you
and design any necessary voter education materials.
Referrals to technology providers:  We are knowledgeable about election technologies,
including mail voting, phone voting, Internet voting and hybrid systems, and we can provide referrals
and recommendations about vendors.

Total solutions:  We can assemble the necessary team to conduct all aspects of an election at any scale. 
Once you settle on the necessary parameters -- election design, voter list, balloting technology and budget --
we will conduct the entire election from start to finish, from voter education to certified election results.


ESG has had a wide clientele, including corporations, political parties, and NGOs.
Our staff members have played key roles in providing technical assistance with IRV
implementation in San Francisco, CA; Ferndale, MI; Burlington, VT; Berkeley, CA and many other jurisdictions.


Download a sample voting system education presentation we created for a client [PowerPoint .ppt - 149 KB]

For a list of clients or to discuss a project, please contact Program Director David Moon at 301-270-4616
or dmoon(at)

Takoma Park, Maryland had their first "IRV" election Jan. 30, 2007.

An Assessment of Instant Runoff Voting in the Takoma Park Ward 5 

On November 8, 2005, the residents of Takoma Park (MD) approved an advisory ..... easy alternative to non-majority voting.      

Takoma Park  is a city in Montgomery County, Maryland. The population was 17,299 at the 2000 census.

Response Rates

Of the entire population of 204 voters, 80 participated in the poll, a response rate of 39%. 77 voters filled out the survey at the place where the exit poll was conducted. Two respondents submitted their responses via e-mail the day after the election, and one respondent mailed in responses a week after the election (some voters asked if they could mail in their responses because they did not have the time to take the survey immediately after voting; the interviewer told them they could, and only one respondent responded this way). Even though they were contacted via e-mail and asked to participate, none of the 10 absentee voters responded.

As shown by Table 1, the proposal passed with overwhelming support. 83.6% of voters voted “Yes” on the proposed electoral reform. The City Council unanimously voted to revise the City Charter to use IRV for all city elections beginning in 2006.

In November 2006, a member of the city council from Ward 5 was elected to the county council. When his seat became vacant, a special election was called. The election took place on January 30, 2007, using IRV for the first time. Three candidates contested the election, all of whom devoted time and resources to their campaigns and were generally perceived to be serious candidates. When first choices were counted, the results were as follows, with Reuben Snipper winning on the first count:  

                            First Choices

% of Total First Choices

Reuben Snipper (ELECTED)



Eric Hensal



Alexandra Quéré Barrionuevo






Invalid Ballots