2024 will be hard for all the reasons we imagine. The politics industry is humming right along – and will be making billions of dollars through fear-mongering and "lesser of two evils" marketing spending. Many of the people who will tell us how bad the system is, how important this election is, and how awful the other side is, will in fact be profiting at the same time on our outrage.
The good news is this: reasonable people sense this trap, and are exhausted by the charade of giving every cycle to candidates and parties who promise the answer, only to see this cycle repeated. Voters want out of this cycle - which no one candidate can fix - and are waking up to the power of election reform.
Martin Luther King Jr. reminded us that "there comes a time when one must take the position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must do it because conscience tells him it is right," and that "one of the great liabilities of history is that all too many people fail to remain awake through great periods of social change." Voters have been systematically disenfranchised or excluded through the manipulation of partisan primary elections, and the result is extreme, partisan, selfish, and toxic politics. We can help usher an era of social change - and a return of political power away from insiders, politicians, and power brokers back to the people. This is our generation's work.
Look at some of the exciting developments across the country and join us. This is what patriotism in action looks like.
Jan 4-6: Our founder attended the Student Veterans of America National Convention (NATCON) in Nashville and hosted a “Rounds for Our Republic” happy hour at the Opryland Hotel. Thanks to Tennessee State Leaders Shannon Rasmussen, Sean Patton, Chris Lancia and Paul Woolard for coming out. Paul invited his entire Nashville network, and over 30 outstanding people and veterans joined us!
LWVTN, Tennessee Voters File Federal Lawsuit Challenging State “Bona Fide” Primary Voting Law
The League of Women Voters of Tennessee and Tennessee voters Victor Ashe and Phil Lawson filed a federal lawsuit challenging state laws that require voters to be “bona fide” members of a political party to vote in the state’s open primary elections.
News from the states
State Assembly Committee Held Public Hearing On New Voting System For Congressional Elections
Veterans for Wisconsin Voters leaders, Mark Pfost & Kevin Miller testified
It was a busy day of public hearings for the Assembly Committee on Campaigns and Elections. For hours, the committee heard public testimony on a bill that would introduce instant runoff voting in Wisconsin.
The bill would only apply to congressional races – meaning your US Representative and Senator in Congress. It wouldn’t apply to presidential, local, or other statewide races.
Tired of gridlock and grandstanding? This election reform can restore sanity. - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The hyper-partisan divide in the U.S. House of Representatives has resulted in distorted dynamics impacting Wisconsin in a big way. As reported in The Hill, only 10 percent of the House races in the 2022 midterm elections were competitive. Few incumbent Democrats and Republicans had concerns about losing to the other party. However, the partisan primary has an outsized importance in determining who gets elected to Congress. So how is this a problem? Here are a few examples.
Reform News from Around the Country
How a new way to vote is gaining traction in states — and could transform US politics - News from the States
With U.S. democracy plagued by extremism, polarization, and a growing disconnect between voters and lawmakers, a set of reforms that could dramatically upend how Americans vote is gaining momentum at surprising speed in Western states.
UpVote Virginia Executive Director Liz White testified to the County Board, "Tonight’s vote reflects the reality of your experiment: Arlington County liked Ranked Choice Voting so much that you are voting to make it a permanent fixture in county board primaries moving forward."
Congratulations to Virginia state leaders, Mike Cantwell and Carlos De Castro Pretelt, along with our partners at UpVote on this Huge win for RCV (and all voters) in Arlington County
Virginia State Leaders, Mike Cantwell and Carlos De Castro Pretelt, at the Arlington County Board meeting and Mike at Wreaths Across America (WAA)
Virginia State leader and Marine Corps veteran Nancy Springer led the WAA event for about a dozen veterans from VFW Post 3150
Letter: Arlington leaders need to go all in on ranked-choice voting - Gazette Leader
'The vote to limit ranked-choice voting to County Board primary elections showed again how out of touch County Board members are with the electorate.'
Warts and all, ranked-choice voting will be back in 2024
Both de Ferranti and his board colleague Libby Garvey said they are stuck with the wording that was legally advertised by staff, focused only on the primary. But each said they expect the 2024 board at its January meeting to adopt ranked-choice voting for County Board general elections, as well.
Other Noteworthy News
Record Low in U.S. Satisfied With Way Democracy Is Working - Gallop
28% are satisfied, down from the prior low of 35% after Jan. 6 Capitol riot
38% of Democrats, 17% of Republicans are satisfied
Americans with less formal education are less satisfied
Citizens need a better understanding of ‘election overtime’ before next November -The Fulcrum
Johnson is the executive director of the Election Reformers Network, a national nonpartisan organization advancing common-sense reforms to protect elections from polarization.
A year from now, in early December 2024, America could be confronting one of the toughest challenges a democracy can face -- one that voters are not well prepared for. In the next presidential election, some states will likely be won by very tight margins, close enough that one side may decide to legally challenge the results. That scenario, a close and contested election, can be tough on democracy in the best of circumstances. As we learned in 2020, in our bitterly divided country, it’s potentially explosive.