The irony seems obvious: One consequence of the burst in voter participation this year is that it will be tougher for those same voters to participate next time.
Half the states give their people a shot at putting proposals to a statewide vote, the sort of citizen-driven democracy that many good-government voices say should be much closer to the rule than the exception. In 10 of those states, which are home to about one in six Americans, the petition signature minimums for getting referendums on the ballot are tied to recent turnout and registration numbers.
No surprise after an election when the highest share of eligible people voted in more than a century, the 2020 figures went up in all 10 states. But here's the surprise for those unfamiliar with the legal quirk: Millions more people will need to sign on to proposed plebiscites starting next year or else the measures won't be considered.
"If the president-elect wants to have any chance of succeeding in his ambitious policy agenda, he must make restoring democracy an urgent priority. And to help spur this critical rebuilding project, he should put a single person in charge as soon as he's inaugurated," writes Scott Warren of Generation Citizen.
RepresentUs is looking for an intern to work with the Political and Policy team to enact meaningful reform while gaining valuable experience in a successful national nonprofit. For more reform jobs, head over to democracyjobs.org.