Donate
News. Debate. Community. Levers for a better democracy.
XiFotos/Getty Images

With Democrats taking control in Richmond, legislators are expected to pass a number of political reforms in 2020.

Poll: Virginia voters want electoral, redistricting reform

Lopsisded majorities of Virginians support automatic voter registration, no-excuse absentee voting and independent redistricting, new polling shows.

The sentiments are shared by Democratic state lawmakers, who are expected to pass legislation making registration easier, voting more convenient and redistricting a nonpartisan process when the General Assembly reconvenes in January with Democratic majorities newly installed in both chambers.

The survey of 901 registered voters conducted in November found overwhelming support for all three proposals. The results were released this week by Christopher Newport University's Wason Center for Public Policy.

Keep reading...
Big Picture
Ralph Freso/Getty Images

In addition to creating a statewide public financing system, a proposed ballot initiative in Arizona would make it easier for voters to cast ballots.

Crusade begins for ballot initiative overhauling Arizona's democracy

A prominent progressive group in Arizona has launched an effort to put a total overhaul of the state's election system before the voters next fall.

If the initiative is ultimately adopted, it would transform campaign financing and ease access to the ballot box in one of the nation's fastest growing and most politically competitive states. In many ways, the proposal would create in Arizona a system similar to what the congressional Democrats would nationalize under HR 1.

But the business community and Republican elected leaders in Phoenix are already signaling they're intense opposition to the package, suggesting that just getting it on to the ballot could require an expensive and polarizing campaign.

Keep reading...
Mario Tama/Getty Images

The early voting laws in Texas and North Carolina would both have significant inpact on turnout among young voters.

Democrats challenge early voting limits in two ’20 battlegrounds

Democratic groups are challenging the constitutionality of new state laws written by Republicans to curb early voting in two of the biggest battleground states of 2020.

The Texas Democratic Party and the national Democratic campaign committees filed a federal lawsuit this week alleging a law curbing the use of temporary or mobile early voting sites is unconstitutional. Also this week, those same national committees joined the North Carolina Democratic Party in suing to restore early voting in the state on the Saturday before Election Day.

Turnout will be crucial to the Democrats' attempts to win North Carolina's 15 electoral votes for the first time since 2008 and especially to carry Texas, now the second biggest prize with 38 electoral votes, for the first time since 1976. The party is also expected to make an intense run at GOP Sen. Thom Tillis in North Carolina and a longer-shot quest to unseat GOP Sen. John Cornyn in Texas.

Keep reading...
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

New York is the 39th state to allow some form of early voting.

First early voting will be complicated for many New Yorkers

New Yorkers will get their first opportunity to cast early ballots this fall, but expectations the change will boost turnout are being dampened by a hodgepodge of local rules and the absence of any statewide races.

Thanks to a law enacted this spring, voters in the nation's fourth most populous state can vote in person on any of nine consecutive days before Election Day (Saturday, Oct. 26, through Sunday, Nov. 3, this year). New York is the 39th state to allow at least some form of early balloting. Of the 10 biggest states, Pennsylvania is now the only one without any early voting

But elections in the Empire State are run by counties, so the procedures for early will be different in each. The League of Women Voters of New York took a statewide look at what's in store and reported that many rural counties upstate will have just one polling place where people can make their choices for entirely local contests and referendums. In 18 counties, voters will have their choice of multiple polling places, but in nine others (including Albany, the five boroughs of New York City and two of its biggest suburban counties, Westchester and Suffolk) voters will be assigned to a specific polling place.

Keep reading...
© Issue One. All rights reserved.