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Image Courtesy: FairVote

Why multi-member districts with fair voting rules would be a boon to women

Gilda Geist is a rising sophomore at Brandeis University and an intern at RepresentWomen. The non-partisan organization advances women's representation and leadership by advocating for reforms so that more women run, win, serve, and lead.

In response to the recent Supreme Court ruling that upheld partisan gerrymandering, Democratic Rep. Don Beyer of Virginia reintroduced the Fair Representation Act on July 25. This bill would implement ranked choice voting, multi-member House districts and rules for congressional redistricting.

What do all three have in common? They're simpler than they seem and are important for increasing women's representation in American government. Currently, women make up 24 percent of Congress, 29 percent of state legislators, and 0 percent of all U.S. presidents. This is because our current voting system protects incumbents, limits competition and perpetuates the status quo.

One way the Beyer bill would tackle this issue is ranked choice voting. This is an electoral method where instead of choosing only one favorite candidate, voters can rank the candidates in order of preference.

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