Sweeping Victories for State Ballot Initiatives Send Clear Message – Americans Want Democracy Reform

Supreme Court, SCOTUS, redistricting, campaign finance, dark money, voting, elections, campaign finance, map, ethics, United States

In Tuesday’s election, Americans overwhelmingly voted to support measures that 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 helped draft and advise on many of these measures on the ballot in the 2018 election, 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. 

Here are the highlights:

  • We saw a perfect 5 for 5 states vote to rein in partisan gerrymandering with reforms to take redistricting power away from legislators. 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 Ohio, Colorado, Michigan, Utah and Missouri and follow their lead after their success in taking redistricting power away from self-interested legislators last. But since some states do not allow ballot initiatives to fix gerrymandering, litigation and action by the U.S. Supreme Court is still necessary. The U.S. Supreme Court should hear this loud and clear.

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.

  • Americans passed ballot initiatives showing 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. 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 increase new and diverse candidates to seek public office.

  • Americans chose 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. A wide coalition of Americans sent the message that they are rejecting restrictive voting laws. In Florida, voters restored 1.4 million people's 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 (AVR), same-day voter registration and no-reason absentee, in Maryland by passing same-day voter registration and in Nevada by passing AVR.

CLC is helping people with past convictions understand their rights and restore their right to vote in states across the country. Visit RestoreYourVote.org.

View our Win/Loss Democracy Scorecard: Democracy Measures on the 2018 Ballot and Outcomes