The midterms were great win for structural reform from the passage of anti-gerrymandering legislation and anti-corruption acts to the successful use of ranked choice voting. Furthermore, political reform at the federal level promises to the first piece of legislation introduced by U.S. Representative Nancy Pelosi in the incoming congress.
Midterm Results Yield Structural Reform
Gerrymandering: In U.S. politics, gerrymandering is the drawing of the boundaries of electoral districts to give one party an unfair advantage. On November 7, four more states join Ohio in passing anti-Gerrymandering legislation in 2018. Congratulations to Colorado, Michigan, Missouri and Utah.
Want to learn more about gerrymandering? Read this blog post or check out this article in Wired magazine
Anti-Corruption Acts: In addition, eight more states and cities enacted “Anti-Corruption Acts” (8 out of 8) bringing to total to 97 cities and states over the last decade.
These acts include provisions to restrict lobbyist involvement in political funding, bring transparency to “dark money” and support other core electoral reforms (anti-gerrymandering, rank choice voting and open primaries).
Learn more about anti-corruption initiatives across the United States. Watch the Video
Ranked Choice Voting: Finally, Maine successfully used statewide ranked choice voting, joining the more than 20 municipalities that have used it successfully for over a decade. Maine is the first state to elect a U.S. Senator and two members of the U.S. House of Representatives using ranked choice voting. Secretary of State Matt Dunlap reported that voter turnout will approach two thirds of Maine’s registered voters, up sharply from the last midterm elections. More votes were counted in the U.S. Senate race with ranked choice voting than the governor’s race without it, according to Fair Vote.
Learn more about ranked choice voting. Watch the Video
Structural Reform Via H.R.1
On November 30, Pelosi unveiled “H.R.1” as the first order of business for the Democratic majority. This is a broad political overhaul bill that includes provisions for public financing of elections, donor disclosure requirements, expanded lobbyist restrictions, automatic voter registration and anti-gerrymandering provisions.
Learn more about H.R.1. Read the Washington Post article
These proposed changes at the Federal level dovetail perfectly with the Change the Rules portfolio of ongoing collection of grassroots reform efforts in at the state and municipal level. The stage is being set for major milestones in genuine political reform in 2019.
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