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Time to reward every ballot's meaning in presidential elections

Fadem is a board member and national spokesman for National Popular Vote, which wants states to commit their electoral votes to the national winner of the presidential popular vote.

Every American voter, no matter where they live, should be politically relevant in every presidential election. Every state – red, blue or purple; small, medium or large – should play an equally important role in electing the president. And all major presidential candidates should feel compelled to conduct truly national campaigns, seeking out and selling their ideas to every voter in every nook and cranny of the United States.

Those are the simple, powerful ideas behind the National Popular Vote movement to guarantee the presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes across all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

In brief, the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact will go into effect when enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes necessary to elect a president – 270 out of 538. In December, when electors meet to cast their ballots for president and vice president following a presidential election, the electoral votes of all the compacting states would be awarded to the candidate who receives the most popular votes across the nation.

The national popular vote bill significantly amplifies the voice of each individual voter in choosing the president of the United States.

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren in South Carolina on Saturday.

Warren unveils expansive and expensive political system overhaul

Elizabeth Warren on Tuesday unveiled her comprehensive plan for securing the election system while making voting easier, the first among the front-running Democratic candidates to detail an agenda for fixing flaws so many voters find in the political process.

The timing of her announcement, her prominence in the presidential field and the wide-ranging ambitions of her ideas -- which she said would cost $20 billion over a decade – make it very likely that addressing the challenges of the broken democracy will become a topic in this week's first Democratic debates.

"Voting should be easy. But instead, many states make it hard for people to vote," Warren wrote in outlining her platform on Medium. "Elections should be as secure as Fort Knox. But instead, they're less secure than your Amazon account."

The core of her plan is to create an array of national requirements for all federal elections, which are now run by about 8,000 local and state jurisdictions. Most ambitiously to the cause of election security, Warren would buy new voting machines, computerized but with an auditable paper trail, for the entire country and have them programmed with a standardized ballot.

In addition, Warren has embraced versions of most of the most prominent ideas of the democracy reform movement, many of them also enshrined in the bill (dubbed HR 1) Democrats passed this spring in the House only to face a deep freeze in the Republican Senate, where the majority says too many of the changes could subject the system to fraud.

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Most back major democracy fixes but skeptical of system's future

Solid majorities support many of the most prominent proposals for making democracy work better, but in almost all cases Democrats are bigger boosters than Republicans, Wall Street Journal/NBC News polling shows.

But the latest poll, out Friday, also adds to the roster of national opinion surveys laying bare how Americans have lost faith in their government's ability to address the nation's big challenges.

Almost two-thirds of respondents expressed that sentiment. And, in a rare bipartisan accord, those saying the nation's best years have passed outnumber those confident in a brighter future, 51 percent to 44 percent, with Democrats, Republicans and independents all statistically in sync in those views.

Of the 1,000 adults surveyed two weeks ago, just 44 percent professed belief in the nation's capacity to overcome political divisions to solve problems, while 53 percent said it could not.

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A new election law in Florida will require local election supervisors to only select locations with ample parking for early voters.

Florida to require easy parking for early voters; opponents see suppression

Early voting in Florida would be confined to neighborhoods with ample parking, under a package of election law changes that Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis says he'll sign soon.

The measure's GOP sponsors in the state legislature say their aim is to avoid some of the long lines and logistical frustration that many early voters complained about. Democratic opponents and civil rights groups say the real aim is to make it more difficult to vote ahead of Election Day on college campuses, where the electorate skews Democratic.

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