News Release

Electoral Reform Wins in Tuesdays’ Election

Effects of gerrymandering in FL, MI, OH, PA, VA, WI

DREW SPENCER, dspencer at fairvote.org, @fairvote
Legal director at FairVote, Spencer said today: “Electoral reform played a big role in the 2015 elections this year. Ohio voters overwhelmingly passed a state constitutional amendment requiring that redistricting be done according to certain criteria by a bipartisan commission, and advocates of public financing of campaigns had big wins in Seattle and in Maine. Maine will also have a big push for electoral reform next year, when it will vote on whether to elect all state and congressional offices with ranked choice voting, allowing voters to rank candidates in order of choice, something voters successfully did in municipal elections in six different states this year (California, Colorado, Minnesota, Maryland, Maine, and Massachusetts).”

ADAM SMITH, adam at everyvoice.org, @EveryVoice
Smith is communications director at Every Voice, which just released the statement, “Maine, Seattle Voters Pass Money-In-Politics Reforms to Empower Everyday People,” which states: “Voters in Maine and Seattle approved initiatives Tuesday to raise the voices of ordinary people in the political process and reduce the influence of wealthy special interests. These victories show that states and cities aren’t waiting on a gridlocked Washington, D.C. to fix our broken campaign finance system and are instead taking matters into their own hands. …

“In Maine, by a vote of 55-45, voters approved an initiative to strengthen the state’s landmark Clean Elections system that will strengthen disclosure and enforcement requirements and restore the small-donor public financing system, so candidates can run competitive campaigns for office. Mainers voted to preserve the nation’s most blue-collar legislature and ensure that farmers, waitresses, and factory workers are still able to run and win elected office without having to rely on lobbyists and wealthy special interests. …

“Across the country in Seattle, where they have all-mail ballots, early results show Initiative 122 will easily cruise to victory. Voters there said ‘Yes’ to creating a first-in-the-nation system that will democratize city elections by giving every voter a chance to invest in political campaigns through a ‘Democracy Voucher’ program. The initiative also limits contributions for city contractors, closes the revolving door, and increases transparency and accountability.”