How Congress Can Help Fix the Federal Election Commission: There is growing momentum for major FEC reforms

April 30, 2019 by Brennan Center for Justice by Tim Lau,  “The United States needs a functional Federal Election Commission,” writes Lau. “And while it’s ultimately up to Congress to determine the country’s campaign finance laws, there is currently no guarantee that those laws are going to be enforced.” (Image: BCJ/maystra/APK/Peter Stark) The Federal Election Commission (FEC) was established to safeguard the integrity of …

Have court rulings in Michigan and Ohio turned the tide on partisan gerrymandering?

Have court rulings in Michigan and Ohio turned the tide on partisan gerrymandering? Salon: “A federal court overturned Michigan’s congressional and state legislative maps on Thursday as an illegal partisan gerrymander ‘of historic proportions.’ The very next day, a different federal court also declared Ohio’s congressional map an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander, tossing aside a GOP map that had safely entrenched …

It is about the abuse of power, and standing up to power: Facebook has been used to undermine elections all across the world, including our own

Cambridge Analytica a year on: ‘a lesson in institutional failure’: One year after she broke the scandal, Carole Cadwalladr talks to whistleblower Christopher Wylie about the fallout for big tech, and the fight to hold the culprits to account.  In March 2018, Wylie showed the Guardian/Observer a cache of documents revealing how CA had engaged a research company to mine the data of …

Democracy in Freefall: What Does it Mean When a Democracy Can’t Protect Itself From Its Worst Enemies? 

Do Americans Understand How Badly Compromised Their Democracy is Now?: What Does it Mean When a Democracy Can’t Protect Itself From Its Worst Enemies? umair haque, Jul 14, 2018 Imagine if I’d told you that one day, America’s most historic, legendary Cold War foe would have hatched a bizarre, cunning plot to sabotage democracy, and elect a pliable President. By igniting a tidal wave of …

Ranked choice voting, a key democracy reform, taking root in Maine and Iowa, introduced in New Hampshire

Excerpt from The Hill 3/6/2019 The Democratic party now prides itself on championing democracy reform (see article below). Settling for potentially tens of thousands of wasted votes in the first-in-the-nation primary would justifiably warrant accusations of hypocrisy. Luckily, as with many flaws in our democracy, the solution is both simple and easily implementable: ranked choice voting (RCV). RCV in the presidential primary would …

Now Is the Time to Think Big on Voting

March 03, 2019 by Brennan Center for Justice Now Is the Time to Think Big on Voting, by Zachary Roth Back in 2009, when the Brennan Center released a groundbreaking report (pdf) on automatic voter registration (AVR), the idea generated an outpouring of support from public officials and op-ed boards. But some cautioned that it could take time. “Figuring out the specifics is tricky and will …

Addressing the climate crisis is a top-tier issue for Democratic primary voters, shared only with universal health care coverage

After decades near the bottom of Democratic priority list, climate has broken into the top two or three, according to  Hart Research, which detailed the findings of a poll conducted of Democratic primary voters in California, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina. The poll was conducted for the League of Conservation Voters (LCV), the Center for American Progress Action Fund, …

The middle is no place to be

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/02/03/dear-democrats-stop-substituting-so-called-possible-whats-morally-necessary As presidential historian Jon Meacham said on HBO’s “Real Time w/ Bill Maher,” it is often easier to make big honking changes than to try to accomplish incremental ones.  Back in 2016, Democrats faced a choice between incrementalism—”a progressive who got things done”—and an advocate for a fundamental transition away from a rigged system. The party apparatchiks threw their …

2020 Caucus reforms enable remote participation, may double or triple involvement

Monday, January 14, 2019 by Steven Rosenfeld on Common Dreams Big Changes Are Coming to Iowa’s 2020 Caucuses: Why the process could look very different next year in the key early-voting state,  The Iowa Democratic Party is preparing to implement the most sweeping and radical changes to its first-in-the-nation caucuses in 50 years, including potentially adopting online elements that could increase participation by upward of …

What a Rural Maine House Race Can Teach the Left

November 02, 2018 by The Nation Chloe Maxmin could be the first Democrat ever to win Maine House District 88 in a place deep in the state where one thing is clear: The left abandoned rural America y Chloe Maxmin, Canyon Woodward Chloe Maxmin (standing, fourth from right) at a volunteer-training event in May 2018. (Photo: Mattea Mrkusic) Far from the bright lights of …