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Category: election reform

Voting Center
Report: More States Banned Ranked Choice Voting in 2024 Than Any Other Year
Ballotpedia released a report on the increased efforts in various states across the US to ban ranked choice voting, a popular nonpartisan reform that continues to gain momentum.
17 July, 2024
voter suppression
Independent Voters Face Abuse and Intimidation in Tennessee Primaries
Last week, I recorded a podcast interview with Gabe Hart. Gabe lives in western Tennessee and is a plaintiff in a lawsuit challenging voter suppression signs that are hung at every poll site in Tennessee on primary day.
16 July, 2024
major parties
Disagree Better: Group of Governors Have Worked to Cool Down the Political Rhetoric
Following the assassination attempt on former President Donald Trump, leaders of both major political parties have called for unity and for a change to the venomous rhetoric in US politics. 
15 July, 2024
Vote
Idaho Top 4 Initiative with Ranked Choice Voting Certified for November Ballot
The Idaho secretary of state announced this week that Idahoans for Open Primaries turned in enough signatures for its ballot initiative to end the state's closed primary system.
11 July, 2024
ballot box
Richmond, Calif. Will Vote on Ranked Choice Voting in November
The Richmond City Council unanimously approved a ballot measure for November in a 5-0 vote that authorizes the use of ranked choice voting (RCV) for mayor and city council elections. 
10 July, 2024
electoral college
The Partisan Perspective: Your Choice in November is Between Sunscreen and Skin Cancer
In a system that was designed to perpetuate a zero-sum contest between two sides, the stakes get higher each election cycle to convince people they have to cast their ballot a certain way “or else.”
08 July, 2024
2024 ballot
New Documentary Asks: What If Party Bosses Didn't Control How We Vote?
In 2022, Alaska voters used a new election system that changed the way state voters thought about elections.
03 July, 2024
District of Columbia
Can A DC Campaign Bring Political Accountability and Inclusion to A One-Party Town?
It goes without saying that the District of Columbia is a one-party town. Out of the 13 seats that compose the DC City Council, 11 are held by Democrats, and the other two are held by officials registered as independent.
02 July, 2024
ballot
The Fight Continues: Veterans Work to Improve Elections for a More Perfect Union
Imagine this: A general election with no negative campaigning and four or five viable candidates (regardless of party affiliation) competing based on their own personal ideas and actions — not simply their level of obstruction or how well they demonize their opponents.
02 July, 2024
DC
DC Campaign to Submit Over 40K Signatures for Open Primaries, Ranked Choice Voting
A DC campaign has collected more than 40,000 signatures to put an initiative on the city’s ballot that would open primary elections to independent voters and implement ranked choice voting in all District elections.
28 June, 2024
US Capitol
Only 5% of Voters Will Decide Who Represents VA's 5th District
Last week, Virginia’s GOP held primaries for the upcoming House elections in November. As of today, the results for the state’s 5th congressional district are still too close to call.
26 June, 2024
US Capitol
'Democracy' or 'Republic': The Debate Distracts from A Much Larger Problem
Once again, the US finds itself having a familiar discussion. Some people will use the term “democracy” to refer to the US, and then there will inevitably be some who respond with, “We’re not a democracy; we’re a republic.”
20 June, 2024
Gov. Lamont
Gov. Lamont: Growing Consensus of Conn. Voters Favor Ranked Choice Voting
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont formed a task force this month to come up with a comprehensive legislative proposal by the end of the year that would enable state municipalities and parties to use ranked choice voting (RCV).
18 June, 2024
voting
Poll Shows Strong Support for 'Top Two' Measure in South Dakota
A recent poll shows that 55% of South Dakota voters support Amendment H, which if approved in November will implement a nonpartisan, top-two primary in the state similar to systems used in California and Washington.
13 June, 2024
Arizona
Arizona Initiative: Parties Can Either Accept Open Primaries or Pay for Them
Arizona is ground zero for a novel approach to voting reform that is not getting any attention from the national press, but could have tremendous implications for future elections and provide a fairer process for all voters -- regardless of their political affiliation. 
12 June, 2024
Sumpter and Yang
Yang Speaks With FairVote's CEO About the Future of Ranked Choice Voting
It goes without saying that most voters are dissatisfied with the state of US politics. Hyper-polarization and division are at their worst levels in modern history and nothing is getting done to actually help the American people.
10 June, 2024
vote sticker
Governor Polis Signs Bill That Suppresses the Voice of Colorado Voters
Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed an elections bill Thursday that will make it harder for voters to create an electoral system that offers more choice to voters, regardless of their political affiliation.
10 June, 2024
voting
Santa Clara Could Be First CA County to Adopt Ranked Choice Voting
The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors may consider implementing ranked choice voting (RCV) for county elections in August. If it moves forward with the change, Santa Clara would be the 9th jurisdiction to approve its use – and would be the first to approve it for county elections.
05 June, 2024
Colorado
Amendments Snuck Into Co. Elections Bill to Thwart the Will of Voters
A bill is currently on Colorado Gov. Jared Polis’ desk that if signed into law would place barriers on the will of the people being carried out should they approve nonpartisan primaries and a ranked voting method in November. 
03 June, 2024
Texas Capitol Building
Texas GOP Approves Party Rule Change to Close Primary Elections
For anyone who thinks party rules are not put above state law or the will of voters -- look no further than Texas. 
29 May, 2024
vote
Montana Initiatives Add to Growing Demand for Fairer Primaries, More Choice in Elections
Montana may be on the verge of joining a growing movement across the country to give voters a fairer elections process that offers more choice and greater accountability. 
28 May, 2024
San Diego
POLL: San Diego Voters Dissatisfied with Government, Want More Choices
The late Peter Ackerman, an expert in nonviolent civil resistance and a driving force behind reform efforts like Maine’s “More Voice” initiatives, said that even the best ideas are accepted in stages:
24 May, 2024
voted
South Dakota Voters Will Vote on 'Top Two' Primary in November
A proposed amendment to the South Dakota Constitution to require a nonpartisan primary system in which all voters and candidates participate on a single ballot has been certified for the November ballot.
24 May, 2024
Oakland
Funding Problems Plague Oakland's New 'Democracy Dollars' Program
Nearly three-quarters of Oakland voters (74%) approved an initiative in 2022 that took a comprehensive approach to campaign finance solutions in the city. However, one of its historic changes is in need of funding if it is going to be implemented by 2026; namely, its "democracy dollars" public finance system.
17 May, 2024
Chula Vista
POLL: Nearly Two-Thirds of Chula Vista Voters Want to Change the Way They Vote
A recent poll conducted by Competitive Edge research with funding by More Choice San Diego found that 62% of voters in Chula Vista -- if given the opportunity -- would support a measure that would advance five candidates to a general election that uses ranked ballots.
13 May, 2024
America
Adding Ranked Choice Voting to Presidential Elections Could Happen by 2028
Imagine it’s election night 2024. A few close swing states will decide the presidency – and test the health of our democracy. In that scenario, we can be certain of two facts: Neither Joe Biden nor Donald Trump will win a majority of the vote, and votes for independent and third-party candidates will dwarf the final margin.
13 May, 2024
South Dakota Capitol Building
South Dakota Open Primaries Submits 47K Signatures to Get Nonpartisan Primary Reform on the Ballot
One week after the Idahoans for Open Primaries coalition submitted roughly 30,000 more signatures than they needed to get a nonpartisan top-four primary system on the ballot, South Dakota Open Primaries met the required number of signatures in their own state to put a top-two system before voters.
07 May, 2024
US flag
FairVote's David Daley Responds to RFK Jr's 'No Spoiler Pledge': There's A Better Way
David Daley, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan better elections group FairVote, released a statement Wednesday on Robert F Kennedy Jr's "no spoiler pledge," calling it "weird" and "unproven."
02 May, 2024
voted
'Final Four' Primary Initiative in Idaho Set for Ballot Approval
An initiative that would ensure equal voting rights for 270,000 independent voters in Idaho is all but certain to qualify for the November ballot. The Idahoans for Open Primaries coalition exceeded 90,000 signatures for its "Final Four" elections initiative days before the May 1 deadline.
30 April, 2024
White House
No Labels' Failed Presidential Math and Why It Should Focus Its Efforts on Reforming the System Instead
Earlier this month, No Labels officially ended its plans to field a bipartisan “Unity Ticket” in the 2024 presidential election. While most campaigns end due to a lack of voter support or funding, No Labels’s campaign suffered the unique problem of lacking a candidate.
26 April, 2024
Asa Hutchinson
Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson Declares His Support for Ranked Choice Voting
In a recent episode of The Purple Principle, a podcast that examines democracy and polarization from a nonpartisan lens, former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson said that while he was skeptical of ranked choice voting at first, he now sees it as a meaningful solution to elect candidates with the broadest appeal.
19 April, 2024
electoral college
How Maine Started a Voter Revolution, And Is Now Going Backwards
Election reformers have looked to Maine for several years now as a pioneer in adopting policy solutions that put voters first in elections. Maine voters have taken it upon themselves to enact better elections – and have won major victories.
17 April, 2024
ballot
Top Four Nonpartisan Primary Initiative in Idaho Surpasses 84,000 Signatures
An initiative that would open the taxpayer-funded electoral process in Idaho to all voters has more than 84,000 signatures, according to the group spearheading the initiative, Idahoans for Open Primaries. 
17 April, 2024
crowd
A Look at the Millions of Taxpayers Denied an Equal Voice in Elections
If there is one day out of the year that many Americans collectively dread it is April 15 -- Tax Day. But for millions of US voters, it is also a reminder that while they help foot the bill for elections, they are denied the right to an equal vote in them.
15 April, 2024
Glenn Youngkin
The Irony of Gov. Glenn Youngkin Vetoing a Ranked Choice Voting Bill
Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin has said no to a bill that would clarify how ranked choice voting (RCV) is supposed to work in local elections -- which is odd considering the only reason Youngkin is governor is because of a RCV nomination process at the 2021 Virginia GOP convention. 
12 April, 2024
Electoral College
The Electoral College Reform the Nation Needs is Not What Either Party Wants
Nebraska is one of only two states that has a system that awards its Electoral College votes based on the popular vote in each of its congressional districts. However, there is a contingent of state lawmakers who want to change this with the support of former President Donald Trump.
08 April, 2024
missouri state capitol
The Missouri Resolution Designed to Sucker Voters into Banning Ranked Choice Voting
There is a resolution in the Missouri Legislature that if approved by voters would ban the use of ranked choice voting (RCV). However, RCV isn't the sole subject. There is another provision meant to trick voters into supporting it. 
05 April, 2024
two parties
Penn. Voter: Closed Primaries Are a Modern Version of 'Taxation Without Representation'
Efforts to reform Pennsylvania's closed partisan primary system continue with groups like Ballot PA urging state lawmakers to give independent voters equal voting rights in the state's taxpayer-funded elections process.
03 April, 2024
California flag
10 Years Ago, IVN Warned CA Independents Not to be Fooled by the American Independent Party -- But the Issue Persists
On April 1, 2014, IVN was the first to cover a campaign that warned California independent voters not to be fooled when they registered to vote. But today, hundreds of thousands of voters are still registered with the American Independent Party by mistake.
01 April, 2024
DC
DC Judge Tosses Lawsuit Against Open Primaries, Ranked Choice Voting Ballot Measure
The lawsuit was filed by the DC Democratic Party in August not long after the DC Board of Elections unanimously approved the reform initiative, now known as Initiative 83, to appear on the 2024 ballot. 
31 March, 2024
ballot box
The Next Big Win in Better Election Reform Could Come Where Voters Least Expect
Idaho isn't a state that gets much attention when people talk about politics in the US. However, this could change in 2024 if Idahoans for Open Primaries and their allies are successful with their proposed initiative.
21 March, 2024
Courts
Why Do We Accept Partisanship in Judicial Elections?
The AP headline reads, "Ohio primary: Open seat on state supreme court could flip partisan control." This immediately should raise a red flag for voters, and not because of who may benefit but over a question too often ignored.
19 March, 2024
Krist Novoselic
Smells Like Independent Spirit: Nirvana's Krist Novoselic and the Fight for Better Elections
Former presidential candidate and co-founder of the Forward Party Andrew Yang sat down with Nirvana co-founder Krist Novoselic, who went from changing the status quo in music to bringing that independent spirit to the political arena and the fight for better elections.
18 March, 2024
vote
It's Time to Let All Voters Vote in South Dakota's Taxpayer-Funded Primaries
Unfortunately, the upcoming 2024 South Dakota primary election promises more of the same for our state.
15 March, 2024
make every vote count
Report: 6-in-10 New Voters Register Unaffiliated in States that Suppress Independent Voters
Mounting research continues to show the real truth behind independent voter suppression in several states across the US.
12 March, 2024
voter at polls
17% More Votes Count Under Ranked Choice Voting, Study Finds
A new study analyzing all single-winner ranked choice voting (RCV) elections since 2004 reveals a significant increase in meaningful votes and representation in elections under RCV.
12 March, 2024
people
LetUsVote: New Campaign Launches to End Discrimination Against Independent Voters
Open Primaries, in partnership with Unite America, announced the launch of LetUsVote Wednesday, a nationwide initiative that aims to mobilize and empower independent voters, who make up the largest voting bloc in the US but are treated like second-class voters.
27 February, 2024
McMaster
SC Governor Rejects Calls to Close Primaries; Squashes Claims of 'Party Raiding'
Republican South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster does not support calls from within his party to close primary elections to registered party members only. He has long pushed back against claims that non-party members will infiltrate the primaries to manipulate outcomes.
21 February, 2024
voting
Bill Designed to De-Politicize Virginia's Top Elections Job Runs into Partisan Trouble
A bill that would strip Virginia governors of their ability to handpick a party-loyal elections commissioner was approved with a unanimous vote in the state's House but has run into trouble in the state Senate.
20 February, 2024
California Legislature
Author of California’s Top-Two Primary Says It’s Time to Reform the Reform
In 2010, California voters took the first step in empowering every California voter by abolishing party-controlled closed partisan primaries in favor of open nonpartisan primaries that advance the top two vote-getters to the November election. 
14 February, 2024
voting
Over 23.5 Million Independent Voters Are Disenfranchised in 2024 Primaries, Study Finds
As the US kicks off the 2024 presidential election cycle, more than 23.5 million registered independent voters find themselves sidelined by closed presidential primaries in 22 states, a recent report from the Unite America Institute reveals.
13 February, 2024
voting
Poll: La. Lawmakers Dismantle Nonpartisan Elections Supported by Two-Thirds of Voters
Louisiana, voters witnessed their legislature not only ignore their opinions on something as important as voter rights -- but lawmakers also spit in their faces.
23 January, 2024
Dean Phillips
Defending Democracy? Democratic Candidate Dean Phillips Calls Out DNC Hypocrisy
Democratic US Presidential candidate and US Representative Dean Phillips (Minnesota) condemned the systemic threats to US elections at every level of the process in a recent conversation with Open Primaries President John Opdycke.
22 January, 2024