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Ten proposals for bettering democracy

October 29th, 2020, 10:46pm by Sam Wang


In this year’s election, voters around the nation will decide on proposals to change how democracy works. At the Fulcrum, Sara Swann gives the rundown on ten of those proposals.

We’ve gone into some of them in depth. For example, the Virginia redistricting reform is reviewed over at the Princeton Gerrymandering Project. Broadly, all of the ballot measures have positive qualities except for one. The exception is the Missouri measure, which pretty much undoes the “Clean Missouri” amendments of 2018. Around here we call it “Dirty Missouri.”

Tags: 2020 Election · Redistricting

7 Comments so far ↓

  • Cactus Flower

    Sara Swann’s article left out two other cities with ranked-choice voting: Santa Fe and Las Cruces, both in New Mexico

  • 538_Refugee

    Map on the right has disappeared again.

    • Sam Wang

      The folks at 270toWin tell me it’s an intermittent problem. They are probably overwhelmed with traffic. We might be able to address this by downloading their file periodically and serving it up ourselves…

  • Scott

    I have thoughts. One thing Trump has done is highlight some serious loopholes our forefathers left in our democratic process.
    First, The AG role should NOT be a presidential appointment. It should either be an elected position or be appointed by a unanimous selection of the Supreme Court at the beginning of new presidential term from a list compiled by a supermajority of the House.

    We also need to look at FBI directorship.

    And, now, because the postal service is so integral to our election process, it should be entirely under the oversight of the House. No Presidential authority or oversight whatsoever.

    And much more.

    • Ebenezer Scrooge

      Scott,
      NJ has an interesting approach. The AG is appointed by the Governor with legislative consent. The Governor cannot subsequently fire the AG during the term of the AG’s appointment.

  • Pechmerle

    AG is elected in California. But “down ballot” effects means that the AG is usually of the same party as the Governor. Neither the Governor nor any other official can fire the AG.

    To remove an AG who doesn’t turn out well, in Cal. it is possible to petition to recall any of the top state officers. (This has happened only once in recent decades; Gov. Gray Davis was recalled in 2003.)

  • shoreline view

    Any thoughts on how management and litigation of the election is going to affect the result?

    We’ve got 117,000 votes in Harris County TX under review by an extreme Republican partisan federal judge despite the fact the drive-in delivery was accepted by Texas’s Supreme Court; we’ve got a high rate of witness signature problems on absentees in South Carolina; there is a huge proportion of not-yet-received mail ballots for this close to the election and the anecdotal, on-video, reports of Postal Service problems in places such as Florida.

    The only litigation/misconduct I’ve seen so far that implies the possibility of a net risk to Republicans is the 8th circuit’s threat to enforce the previous election day receipt deadline in Minnesota, which given how rural mail works there (it gets shipped to the Twin Cities, then postmarked, then delivered wherever, even if next door) will disproportionately disenfranchise rural voters.

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