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Obama Urges Action on Democracy Reform

President Obama called for broad democracy reform in his address to the Illinois General Assembly, touching on issues such as voting rights, money in politics, and redistricting.

February 10, 2016
During remarks to the Illinois General Assembly today, President Obama called for broad democracy reform, including reducing barriers to voting, implementing automatic voter registration, changing the way our districts are drawn, and seeking reasonable limits on the influence of “dark money” and big donors on America’s elections.
“We have to build a better politics,” the president said. “We can’t move forward if all we do is tear each other down.”
In its Democracy Agenda, released last week, the Brennan Center for Justice outlined concrete steps our next president, Congress, and states can take to boost voter participation and build the better democracy President Obama envisioned in his speech.
These proposals include many of the key issues the president touched on today, including:
  • Voting Rights: Make it easier for average citizens to vote by modernizing voter registration, expanding early voting hours, and replacing outdated voting machines.
  • Money in Politics: Reduce the influence of big money in elections by overturning theCitizens United decision, establishing a small donor public financing system, and eliminating secret, unaccountable money.
  • Redistricting: Ensure that communities are fully and fairly represented by ending partisan gerrymandering.
The Democracy Agenda is part of the Brennan Center’s Election 2016 page, a new resource that will provide regular updates and analysis on democracy issues throughout the year.