The 2019 elections took place this past Tuesday, and while many of the results were surprising, the biggest winner across the country was democracy reform. Here are a few victories that should be on your radar:
NYC passes ranked-choice voting
New Yorkers voted for the ability to rank their top five choices for Mayor, Comptroller, Public Advocate, Borough Presidents, and City Council in primary and special elections. Ranked-choice voting is already used by the state of Maine and cities in seven other states, including San Francisco, St. Paul, and Santa Fe. RCV will take effect in New York City in 2021. This would effectively triple the number of people using RCV.
Supporters of ranked-choice voting argue that it allows winners to have the support of a true majority, avoids vote splitting, and encourages candidates to take a positive, grassroots approach to campaigning.
You can learn more about ranked-choice voting from our friends at RepresentUs.
Maine expands participation in grassroots movements
Speaking of Maine, residents of the Pine Tree State voted to amend their constitution to allow persons with disabilities to provide alternative signatures on petitions. Examples of alternative signatures include a signature stamp or allowing another person to sign on the supporter’s behalf.
San Francisco addresses transactions and transparency
San Fran passed a two-part democracy reform on Tuesday. The first part bans LLCs and other corporate entities, and any person with certain levels of financial interests in zoning, city planning, or land-use changes, from contributing to local political candidates. The second part expands donor transparency requirements on political advertising.
Kansas and Syracuse tackle redistricting
Syracuse residents voted to amend their charter to create an independent redistricting commission that would include members of both parties and require members to recuse themselves when conflicts of interest arise.
Kansas voters, meanwhile, voted to exclude military personnel and college students from population counts used to draw legislative district lines. The measure had overwhelming bipartisan support.
We’re thrilled to see democracy reform taking root across the country. With 2020 on the horizon, we’re confident we can create a system that works for the majority of Americans. In the meantime, be sure to keep on stamping!