Three things to think about this November 17th
Across the country, tens of millions of voters turned out to decide midterm elections up and down the ballot at levels only bested by the 2018 midterms. While the majority of media attention focused on the unexpected nature of results and partisan control of Washington, our team and the Voters First movement watched as a record number of local and state ballot measures championing election reform PASSED!
So, this week let’s dive straight into what voters overwhelmingly said “YES” to during the 2022 midterm elections. Here are three things to think about on the heels of these historic successes:
Nevada’s Question 3 ballot measure passed with majority support, advancing landmark reform — nonpartisan primaries and ranked choice voting general elections — to the state’s 2024 ballot. The measure, which is similar to the one Alaska voters approved in 2020, gives every registered voter in Nevada the right to participate in primary elections and Nevadans more choices in who represents them. This victory put the exclamation point on one of the country’s most significant political stories in 2022: the successful and momentum-filled movement to solve the Primary Problem and ensure that American elections put voters first.
In light of this victory, Nick Troiano, Executive Director of Unite America, stated, “The headline going into [the] weekend is that the Silver State took a major step toward giving every Nevada voter, including the 600,000 independents currently shut out of the process, the right to participate in primary elections.”
As we have been sharing all election season, Alaska became the first state in the country to use a nonpartisan primary and ranked choice election system this year and, following the midterm election, new polling shows that Alaskans are pleased with their decision to enact this election reform. Of the state’s voters surveyed after the general election, “92% of Alaskans reported receiving instructions on how to rank their choices, 79% of Alaskans reported Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) to be 'simple,' and 60% say Alaska’s state and local elections were more competitive compared to previous years.”
In a state with such political diversity — more than 60 percent of voters are either third-party, nonpartisan, or undeclared — it is highly likely that the gubernatorial, Senate, and House races will be won by two Republicans of different shades and a Democrat, respectively, debunking the false claim that Alaska-style reform “favors” one party or ideology more than another.
While we will not have the final outcome of the election until the first round of tabulation finishes on “Thanksgiving Eve” due to the state’s laws governing mailed in ballots, Alaska’s new election system has already started having a real impact.
Ranked choice voting was on the ballot at historic levels this year, with voters supporting its adoption in Nevada (it needs to be approved again in 2024); Ojai, CA; Seattle, WA; Ft. Collins, CO; Evanston, IL; Portland, ME; Multnomah County, OR; and Portland, OR. Since the election, sixty-one jurisdictions representing 15 million Americans have now approved ranked choice voting, reports FairVote. This is a MAJOR VICTORY for the reform movement and for voters.
Nick Troiano captured the momentum of the movement, stating, “The headline from this year is that voters across the U.S., from red states to blue states, are continuing to demand an electoral system that provides them with better choices and more representation from their government — and they’re winning.”
Our appreciation and heartfelt applause go to all of our partners, the volunteers, and the organizations on the ground. Without their tireless work to advance these campaigns, the Voters First movement would not be where we are today.
And finally, an invitation to join our team at Unite America! As the work to fix our broken political system grows and changes, so too, does our team. We are seeking a full-time Partnerships Director to oversee a significant share of our investment portfolio liaising with local, state, and national grantees. Stay up to date with opportunities to join our team on our careers page and be sure to explore Democracy Jobs for even more job opportunities in the Voters First movement.