How We Can Change the Rules: Open Competition

Competition is opened up within the Democratic and Republican parties. And independents are able to compete on a level playing field.

End Extreme Partisan Gerrymandering

When partisan state legislators redraw the congressional maps every 10 years, the bias can be so extreme as to “effectively nullify democracy.” An independent study found that Republicans won as many as 22 additional U.S. House seats over what would have been expected in 2016 based on the average vote share in congressional districts across the country.

Legal challenges to gerrymandering continue to work their way through the higher courts. In addition, there are currently active citizen-lead initiatives in seven states (Connecticut, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, Oregon and Pennsylvania) to create non-partisan methods of creating assembly districts.

Institute Rank Voting at the State & Federal Levels focuses on the adoption of Rank Choice Voting (RCV). Since 2013, 15 cities have passed ranked choice voting. Research confirms that the process promotes majority support and reduces negative campaigning. Maine successfully used RCV at the statewide level in June 2018 and adopted it for future elections.

Adopt California’s Top-Two Primary System

In 2010, California implemented a change that completely by-passed the system of the major parties holding primaries to nominate their representative in the general election. Under the Top-Two (Jungle primary) system, all voters can vote for any candidate. The top two vote getters advance to the general election.

The change to Top-Two Primaries, combined with a non-partisan approach to redistricting, has resulted in a much healthier political structure in California: higher voter turnout, more competitive elections, more bi-partisan legislation and higher public approval ratings for the state legislature.

In 2010, despite being opposed by every political party, the Top Two Nonpartisan Primary passed in California with 54% of the vote.


Open Presidential Debates to a Third-Party Candidate is devoted entirely to changing the rule for presidential debate access. There is ample evidence that the current 15 percent polling hurdle is designed to exclude qualified third-party candidates. The effort by was unsuccessful in opening up the 2016 presidential debates, but remains in litigation with the Federal Election Commission. If successful, it would create a viable national platform for an independent third-party candidate.

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Change the Rules was founded in 2018 and is managed by Tom Curren. View bio