LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A new report released by FairVote Thursday shows that Arkansas is among the worst in the country at representing “voter voice” — that is, how likely voters are to make a difference in a close election and to have their preferences elected.
According to the report, Arkansas ranks #47 in the country for “Voter Voice” in FairVote’s “Dubious Democracy” report, which ranked all 50 states on an average of five measures reflecting close elections, voter turnout, and accuracy of representation in the U.S. House.
For three decades now, we’ve shown that elections for the ‘people’s house’ are deeply flawed. In our dubious democracy, more voters than ever are trapped in one-party districts where their voices aren’t heard and their votes don’t make a difference. Whether it’s gerrymandering or simply a state’s strong tilt towards one party, the lack of competition in general elections discourages voters and hurts American democracy. To provide real choices and improve representation for all of us, we need to pass the Fair Representation Act and move to multi-member congressional districts with fair elections based on ranked choice voting.Rob Richie, President and CEO of FairVote
The five measures are based on results from the most recent U.S. House of Representatives elections, which are: margin of victory, landslide victories, voter turnout, voter consensus, and partisan skew.
At the bottom of the list along with Arkansas are Oklahoma, Tennessee and Hawaii rounding out the bottom five with West Virginia and Louisiana ahead of the Natural State at No. 46 and 45.
Topping the list is Minnesota with the best voter choice, followed by Wisconsin, Montana, Maine and Colorado.
“The Dubious Democracy report is a thoughtful and valuable analysis of the disconnect between our democratic ideals and the outcomes of our federal elections,” said Todd Donovan, Professor of Political Science at Western Washington University. “This is valuable data demonstrating problems with our current winner-take-all system for House elections, as well as variation between the states in how well their elections capture voter voice.”
The full report can be viewed online.