What Can 2020 State Ballot Initiatives Teach Us About Democracy Reform?

A man's hand holding a pen over a ballot with ballot initiatives listed on it.
A voter fills out an absentee ballot during the 2020 general election. Photo by Casey Atkins/Campaign Legal Center.

Campaign Legal Center (CLC) hosted the public education call “Understanding the State of Democracy Reform Through 2020 Ballot Initiatives.”

CLC experts Caleb Jackson, legal counsel, voting rights, and Danielle Lang, co-director of voting rights and redistricting, were joined by special guests Sean Nicholson, senior content strategist and research director at GPS Impact and former campaign manager for “Clean Missouri”, and Brian Cannon, executive director at OneVirginia2021.

In 2020, grassroots organizers faced challenges getting these initiatives on the ballot and convincing the people in their states to vote for these much-needed democracy reforms amid a highly-partisan presidential election and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The panelists discussed trends in voting rights and citizen-led efforts to reform our democracy. They offered a brief overview of the initiatives on the ballot in each of their states, along with an analysis of what proponents of democracy reform could learn from the campaigns to pass these initiatives going forward.

Learn more about how you can start working on democracy reform in your community.

Even in this very polarized era, it is important to get bipartisan consensus on democracy reforms. Every vote should count equally and every voice should be heard. Elections should be determined by voters, not politicians who draw maps. Democracy reform gives citizens greater power, which is why it benefits all of us in the end.

Georgia is a Communications Assistant at CLC.