The United States wasn't built as a democracy. The Senate doesn't represent people. Both sides hate gerrymandering and the courts refuse to fix it. Our right to be heard is defeated by voter suppression and an Electoral College system that concentrates power in a handful of states and too often reverses the popular vote. But within our flawed system, we have the tools to tackle our most stubborn election problems by flexing state and local power (no constitutional amendments or courts required).
This should be the last American election that works against the people. Kristin Eberhard, Director of Democracy at Sightline Institute, thoughtfully researched how the U.S. election system is unjust to many by design, and walks us through 10 big but practical ideas for making our elections free, fair, and secure. Now is the time:
- More than half of Americans live in just nine states. That means less than half the population controls 82 percent of the Senate. It doesn't have to be that way. We can hope the Senate eliminates the filibuster. But while we're holding our breath, what if we went further and remade the Senate to represent people?
- Voter suppression justified by trumped up fears of double voting and dead voters – why? There's already a simple, proven solution working in 30 states to keep voter lists secure and accurate.
- Feel stuck with the Electoral College reversing the popular vote? That isn't even in the Constitution! There is a path for states to ensure the candidate with the most votes wins (and we're already on it).
- We could defeat gerrymandering and create a multi-party system where voters have more options, lawmakers get more work done, and extremists are relegated to the fringe, unable to take over a major party.
A field guide to better elections for both sides of the aisle, Becoming a Democracy illuminates the meaningful, concrete actions that can transform our elections and make sure everyone's vote counts (and that they get to vote in the first place).
Author Kristin Eberhard is a researcher, writer, speaker, lawyer and policy analyst. She is known as a leading expert on electoral reform in the Pacific Northwest, and is considered an authority on proportional representation as well as carbon pricing. She will join us for the first half hour of our program to discuss the book and answer your questions.
Publication Date: January 11th, 2021