Rob Lanphier robla at robla.net
Fri Dec 13 20:39:14 PST 2019

Hi folks,

This morning, I updated the FairVote page on Electowiki:

...which was an updated copy of the intro from the Wikipedia article
about FairVote.   They changed their name in 2004 (from Center for
Voting and Democracy), and it's about time we finally updated
Electowiki to reflect that.

However, one line got under my skin:
> "in 2004 changed its name to FairVote to reflect its support of such platforms as ranked choice voting (RCV),"

Well, there's a lot of good reasons for them to change their name, but
reflecting their support for "ranked choice voting" seemed revisionist
to me.  So I disappeared down a rabbit hole to make my edits to the
Electowiki version.

If you're interested in the details, I encourage you to read my longer
history on Electowiki, but here's the abbreviated timeline:
* 1992 - "Center for Proportional Representation" (CPR) is formed
* 1993 - CPR changes its name to "Center for Voting and Democracy" (CVD)
* 1993 - Report published, calling it "preference voting" (in a nod to
* 1997 - first use of "Instant Runoff voting" that I could find
* 2000 - http://fairvote.org/irv URL goes live on CVD's website
* 2004 - CVD changes its name to "FairVote"
* 2006 - http://fairvote.org/rcv URL goes live on FairVote's website,
in cooperation with the Arizona League of Women Voters
* 2013 - FairVote starts referring to IRV primarily as "Ranked Choice Votting"

What happened between 2006 and 2013 is left as an exercise for the reader.

At any rate: is this a problem worth worrying about?  Should we just
do what all of the cool kids are doing, and start referring to it as
"Ranked Choice Voting"?  I mean, come on, Jennifer Lawrence and Krist
Novaselic are on board (ok, since Jennifer Lawrence was born in the
90s, I have no problem referring to her as a "kid", but Krist
Novoselic is older than I am, so should I be respecting my elders?)


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