Election Results Send Clear Message that Americans Want Democracy Reform
Sweeping Victory for Democracy Ballot Initiatives in 11 States and 7 Localities
WASHINGTON – As the final tallies of votes for the 2018 midterm election came in last night, Americans overwhelmingly voted to support measures to end extreme partisan gerrymandering, improve the way we fund elections to give every day voters a voice in the political process, expand voting access and move toward a more ethical and accountable government.
Campaign Legal Center (CLC) helped draft and advise on many of these measures, working with on-the-ground partners to increase the chance of passage of the ballot initiatives and strengthening them in order to anticipate and defend them against future legal challenges.
Redistricting: A Perfect 5 for 5 States Voted to Rein in Partisan Gerrymandering With Constitutional Amendments to Take Redistricting Power Away From Legislators
“The U.S. Supreme Court should hear this loud and clear,” said Ruth Greenwood, senior legal counsel, voting rights and redistricting at CLC. “Republicans and Democrats are tired of politicians drawing the lines of their own electoral maps and distorting the process for their party’s gain. Citizens around the country are ready to move toward a system of fair maps where they can have a say in the process of redistricting. Other states can turn to Colorado, Michigan, Ohio, Utah and Missouri and follow their lead after their success in taking redistricting power away from self-interested legislators last night. But since some states do not allow ballot initiatives to fix gerrymandering, litigation and action by the U.S. Supreme Court is still necessary.”
Use our guide, Designing Independent Redistricting Commissions, to learn how to create Independent Redistricting Commissions in your own state and take the power of redistricting out of the hands of self-interested legislators.
Campaign Finance and Ethics: Passage of Ballot Initiatives Show Unprecedented Energy to Create a More Transparent and Accountable Government
“Citizens are frustrated by the failure of Congress to fix our broken campaign finance system,” said Catie Kelley, state and local program director at CLC. “Americans united to take democracy into their own hands in 2018 and they did so by voting to improve the way we fund elections. Voters made it clear they do not want their voices drowned out by wealthy special interests, and voted for greater transparency and accountability in our campaign finance system.”
Read our latest report, Buying Back Democracy – The Evolution of Public Financing, to learn how public financing programs can reorient our elections by increasing the power of small donors and leading to new and diverse candidates seeking public office.
Voting Rights: Americans Choose to Expand Voting Rights, Ease Voter Registration
“It’s clear from yesterday’s results that Americans agree that our democracy works best when every citizen participates,” said Danielle Lang, senior legal counsel, voting rights and redistricting at CLC. “A wide coalition of Americans sent the message that they are rejecting restrictive voting laws. In Florida, voters restored 1.4 million peoples’ right to vote – the greatest expansion of voting rights since the Voting Rights Act in 1965. Also voters took the chance to ease the voting process in Michigan by passing automatic voter registration, same-day voter registration and no-reason absentee, in Maryland by passing same-day voter registration and in Nevada by passing automatic voter registration.”
CLC is helping people with past convictions understand their rights and restore their right to vote in states across the country. Learn more by visiting RestoreYourVote.org.