Why We Need Democracy Reform

Voter suppression. Gerrymandering. Big money in politics. Our system doesn’t give all Americans an equal voice. Here’s how to fix it.

American democracy faces big challenges. Restrictive voting laws have created barriers to the ballot box, especially for minorities. Partisan lawmakers have used the redistricting process to rig elections in their favor. A flood of big money, much of it from anonymous donors, has drowned out the voices of ordinary Americans.

The new Congress has introduced a major new bill to strengthen our democracy. HR1, known as the For the People Act, would:

#1 Protect and expand voting rights by streamlining voter registration and expanding opportunities to vote before Election Day.

#2 End partisan gerrymandering by ensuring that people pick their representatives – not the other way around.

#3 Fix our system for funding campaigns using an innovative reform that amplifies the political voices of ordinary citizens.

#4 Strengthen ethics laws aimed at curbing government corruption.

Below is some of the Brennan Center’s groundbreaking research on how to build a democracy that works for everyone.

With most legislatures closed, major positive reforms were enacted, but a handful of states made it more difficult to vote.

The future of campaign finance reform must include an effort to bolster the power of small donors by amplifying their political voice. The report is the first to show how a small donor matching fund model — used successfully in New York City, and elsewhere — could work for Congressional elections.