Friends, In case you missed it, Monday we announced our new name: Veterans for All Voters. This new brand allows us to lead with our values, not just the reforms we find important, and gives us opportunities to build affiliated state chapters such as, Veterans for Idaho Voters. Nearly 50% of military veterans choose to not affiliate with either the Republican or Democratic party, as do 61% of young Americans ages 18-24, and so if we want to build a representative and responsive government, we have to allow these constituencies to fully participate in the elections that matter. Check out the inspiring work from our volunteers, upcoming events, and news round-up from across the U.S.
News from the States
Photo Recap from the Wisconsin Veterans Chamber Business Conference in Milwaukee on Oct. 10th
Words from Kevin Miller - Wisconsin State Volunteer
"We had some excellent conversations with a number of people (many fellow exhibitors). We got some new contacts and got reacquainted with a few folks from last year."
"I used the candy on the table to illustrate the process quickly and it seemed to work pretty well. I would explain that under the current system, you would really only have two choices of candy, Hot Tamales and Starburst (Republican and Democrat) with the occasional third party or independent (but you knew you would be "wasting your vote" if you went with them). With Open Primaries, you could select your actual favorite during the primary with a chance it would become one of the top five in the general election. So now in addition to the Hot Tamales and Starburst, you might also have candy corn, Reeses Cups, and Butterfingers; and, with the language in the Wisconsin bills being considered, even if your favorite wasn't selected, you could write it in. Then, by ranking your options, including the write in, you wouldn't be wasting your vote."
Several reform-minded and good government activists are working feverishly to place Initiative 83 on the 2024 DC general election ballot to establish Rank Choice Voting and open primaries in all elections.
"As a leader in the grassroots democracy reform movement, I am pleased to support VPI here in Washington, DC, and nationally. As the daughter of a WWII veteran and the spouse of a veteran, with many other veterans in my immediate family, I know how important this democracy is to veterans. I learned the tenets of democracy in our home, from my father, and live out the lessons he taught me. I am envisioning what our democracy will look like in the future, while working in the nuts and bolts of electoral reform. There's not a minute to waste!"
Dave Kelm: One easy way Pennsylvania can get better political leaders - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
A bipartisan effort is underway in Harrisburg to expand voting rights for 1.2 million Pennsylvanians. That’s 14% of the state’s 8.6 million registered voters. Who are these 1.2 million? Politically independent Pennsylvanians, people not affiliated with a major party — who have no say in the primary elections that decide who’s on their November ballots.
Op-Ed written by Veterans for All Voters Pennsylvania State Volunteer: David Kelm
By taking this bold step, we can move beyond the divisions that have plagued Congress, enabling collaborative and effective leadership. The challenges we face require nothing less.
Other great articles to read
Reason - How Ranked Choice Voting Would Sort the Republican Primary Field Despite the persistent wish-casting from anti-Trump Republicans, there's no mechanism by which the party could force underperforming presidential candidates to exit the primary.
The New York Times - What We Can Do to Make American Politics Less Dysfunctional
The disarray engulfing the House of Representatives has been unprecedented, yet somehow it has also felt inevitable. No sitting speaker has ever been removed before, but the process that brought about Kevin McCarthy’s overthrow was the culmination of several related trends that have amounted to a repudiation of coalition building in American politics.
NEW FAIRVOTE ANALYSIS REVEALS ELECTORAL INCENTIVES DRIVING SPEAKER MCCARTHY'S OUSTER
FairVote, a nonpartisan organization seeking better elections for all, released a new analysis on the electoral incentives driving the eight GOP members who voted to oust Kevin McCarthy: “The Motion to Vacate and Electoral Incentives.”
Pew Research - Americans’ Dismal Views of the Nation’s Politics - 65% say they always or often feel exhausted when thinking about politics Americans have long been critical of politicians and skeptical of the federal government. But today, Americans’ views of politics and elected officials are unrelentingly negative, with little hope of improvement on the horizon.