Last week, a bill to ban ranked-choice voting in California was toppled by effective opposition, and that’s a victory for democracy!
We can’t let our guard down, though. In Tennessee, Gov. Lee signed an RCV ban into law in February. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has a bill on his desk just waiting for his signature, and Missouri’s legislature is on the verge of placing a measure on the November ballot to stop RCV in its tracks. Which states will follow?
This reckless and arbitrary thirst to eliminate choice in local and state legislatures should be alarming to voters across the country. This is not a liberal versus conservative issue. It’s very simply an issue of those in power trying to keep it.
That’s why we need you to help us push FORWARD faster than ever. These attacks are making our work ever more urgent. Join your Forward Party Team and spread the word that we are the largest political party focused on reforming our democracy.
Let’s get this done. With every state that bans ranked-choice voting, our fight against the two-party system becomes even more urgent.
Keep an eye on your inbox for a special announcement from the Forward Party Team tomorrow at 11:45 am EST — you won't want to miss this!
All the best,
The Forward Party Team
Ranked-Choice Voting and Electoral Reform
The Missouri House passed a bill to place a resolution to ban ranked-choice voting on the ballot in November even while signatures are being collected to get a separate resolution on the same ballot to allow ranked-choice voting in Missouri. That partisans in several states are looking to ban RCV illustrates just how much this reform could shift the balance of power in elections.
Unaffiliated voters are now the largest voting block in Oregon but are shut out of partisan primaries. With gerrymandering resulting in 90+% of seats being safe, that means many Oregonians lack a real voice in who represents them. Oregon Open Primaries is working to change that by fighting for electoral reforms that will allow all Oregonians to vote in the primaries—and the establishment is fighting back.
“Only two parties are represented in the United States Congress. No candidate representing a third party has been elected to the U.S. Congress since 1970. Out of 7,383 seats in state legislatures, only one is held by a candidate who was elected as a member of the nation’s third or fourth largest political parties.” With over 40% of Americans not affiliated with either major political party, our nation is facing a crisis of disproportionate representation.
A Maryland judge found that the congressional map enacted by lawmakers over Hogan’s veto violated the Maryland Constitution. The controversy around this year’s maps has led Secretary of State John T. Willis to advise that the state implement an independent redistricting commission in the future. If adopted, Maryland would be added to the growing number of states making such a shift towards less partisan redistricting.
What's Going On
The State of the Duopoly
The most recent Gallup poll tracked the number of Independents at 46% while only 28% identify as Democrats and 24% as Republicans. In some states this gap is even more pronounced. It’s time for a third (or fourth or fifth) party to represent those who are currently politically homeless, and the Forward Party is here to help.
In March 2022, the Brennan Center for Justice released results of a poll of local election officials. One in six personally experienced threats. We should take such threats seriously because when the people running our elections feel unsafe, it’s a sign of growing hatred and a decline of democracy.
Stay Up To Date
What We're Reading
Rob Richie, CEO of FairVote, faces off in a “pen pal” debate on polarization with Sean Theriault, Professor of Government, University of Texas at Austin. Theriault argues that “forces beyond redistricting” are at play, while Richie argues that gerrymandering has led to now 95% of the House of Representatives seats being considered uncompetitive. Good arguments on both sides, but the Forward Party is siding with Richie. The use of gerrymandering as a tool to reduce competition would not be nearly as widespread if partisans themselves did not know how powerful it is.
Monica Guzman, author of “I Never Thought of It That Way: How to Have Fearlessly Curious Conversations in Dangerously Divided Times,” talks about affective polarization, when people distrust each other “because of how they feel about each other, not because of actual disagreements.” In a conclusion that mirrors the Forward Party’s core principle of grace and tolerance, she says it’s important to communicate with people you don’t agree with. Guzman suggests that when we stop making assumptions about one another and start listening, we might find that the world is not as scary as we imagine it to be.
“Before the rise of "Bitcoin Mayors" like Francis Suarez in Miami or Eric Adams in New York City, there was pro-crypto presidential candidate Andrew Yang, the Venture for America co-founder who counted Bitcoin, math, and Universal Basic Income among his main talking points.” Forward Party founder Andrew Yang says that regulation is coming whether the industry is ready or not.
What We're Watching
Watch Andrew Yang and Jules Terpak cover a range of issues. Jules says, “The real silent majority to me are the young independents” and talks about how social media algorithms favor extremes and ignore moderate, less polarizing messages.
See you next week!
The Forward Party Team
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