Bill Theobald is senior writer at The Fulcrum, where he focuses on everything to do with voting. This December will mark his 40th anniversary in the business, and he still believes -- now more than ever -- that the glow from great journalism can truly light the world.
Having had remarkable success at signing people up to vote in Texas last year, an Austin group of activists is expanding its pilot program into a full-blown national effort to overcome the sometimes ignored first hurdle for people in the voting process — registration.
"There are millions of voters who are registered who don't get out to vote," said Christopher Jasinski, director of partnerships for Register2Vote. "But the unmeasured part of the pie is the actual number of unregistered voters."
Despite spending the least amount of time talking during Thursday night's Democratic debate, entrepreneur Andrew Yang provided two standout moments on money in politics.
In his opening statement, Yang turned some heads with his proposal to use his campaign funds to give 10 people $1,000 a month for a year to test out his "freedom dividend" policy proposal. He encouraged people to apply to win this money "if you believe that you can solve your own problems better than any politician."
But campaign finance experts quickly flagged this $12,000 per person giveaway as a potential violation of federal election law. The Federal Election Commission bars any person from using campaign funds on personal expenses, which is likely how the money will be spent by these 10 select people. (Interestingly, Yang's website calls for only one winner of the $1,000 per month prize.)
If Democrats were given the opportunity to vote for more than one candidate among those seeking the presidential nomination, then Elizabeth Warren would win, according to a poll out Thursday by advocates of ranked-choice voting.
The unusual survey is sure to be cited not only by the Massachusetts senator – as evidence she enjoys more widespread enthusiasm than her rivals, and the potential to expand her base as the field shrinks -- but also by those who say democracy is better served by a voting system that rewards consensus candidates.