People For the American Way

Ben Jealous in the Baltimore Sun: It’s Time to Fix Our Broken Election System

Op-Ed
Ben Jealous in the Baltimore Sun: It’s Time to Fix Our Broken Election System
Photo via Mayor Muriel Bowser, Twitter

In an op-ed in the Baltimore Sun, People For President Ben Jealous discusses the need for democracy and electoral reform in our government. Citing the 2020 elections as an example, Jealous outlines the undemocratic problems with the Electoral College, voter suppression, big money in politics, and lack of electoral representation in Congress, and proposes solutions at the federal and statewide levels to advance true democratic equity in our political systems.

Pointing out that the antiquated, winner-take-all Electoral College was created to empower Southern states that enslaved people, Jealous writes:

This year, when Joe Biden passed the threshold of more votes cast than had been cast for any candidate in U.S. history — clearly winning the popular vote — the Electoral College system meant it was still far from assured that he would win the election …To end the dominance of the Electoral College and bridge this gap in our democracy, we support the state-based National Popular Vote campaign, which is exactly what it sounds like: a change to electing presidents based on the total number of votes cast …

In addition, we have to put new energy into passing the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act — and if the U.S. Senate remains in Republican hands, to relentlessly shame it for failing to do so before now … At the same time, we need to stop the perversion of our political system by big money pouring into our elections … and [expand] voting rights for disenfranchised communities [by] granting statehood to D.C. and Puerto Rico …

In this election, millions of Americans withstood a public health crisis — and for voters of color, shameful voter suppression tactics — in order to vote. We have shown our sheer will and determination to make our voices heard at the ballot box, but we still have a system that doesn’t fully honor the principle of one person, one vote. That’s wrong.

Read the full op-ed here.

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