Looking back at it | Three Things Thursday

Unite America

There seems to be a feeling of anticipation this week. Here in Denver, at least, it feels like we’re turning the corner, and we’re all eager to get life back to normal. 

(It’s not almost over, and life probably won’t go back to normal -- for the record.) 

But as we look ahead with anticipation, it’s important we look back and reflect. 

With that in mind here are three things to think about this week. 

  1. Here’s how we can do primaries better

On the subject of reflection, our friends at FairVote, Rob Richie and Dave Daley, co-authored a piece this week about how we can do our primary elections better. After a primary election season marked by coronavirus, the chaos of Iowa (remember that!), and a media frenzy that saw dozens of candidates drop out before a single vote had been cast, it’s time to do our presidential primaries better so that they represent more voters. 

From establishing ranked choice voting to fixing the schedule of the primaries, there are simple, common sense changes to our primary system that would make them drastically more representative. 

“There’s an immediate challenge in front of us: A November election that could take on a radically different form than most Americans are accustomed to,” they write, “As we protect this fall’s vote, let’s also not lose sight of the important and easy fixes we can make to preserve and improve democracy for many more cycles to come.

  1. A look back on what happened in Utah

When thinking about reform-minded states, I’d bet Utah isn’t the first state that comes to mind. Indeed, Utah, led by both a Republican legislature and governor, has been a national leader when it comes to adopting reform-minded policies, as one of only five states that uses universal vote by mail for their elections. 

An article from a local news station in Utah this week shows how this voters-first type of thinking extends even into their political parties. As state parties grapple with how to hold state assemblies virtually, both the Utah Republican party as well as the Utah Democrats have been out in front, adopting election reforms to keep voters safe and elections secure. 

Both parties are using mobile voting apps to tabulate votes from their conventions, and both are using ranked choice voting when tabulating those votes. They’re keeping their delegates safe while keeping democracy trudging. It’s an impressive bipartisan prioritization from the parties, who are generally wary of change. As the chairman of the Utah Republican party said, “As a political party... we’re adapting, and the irony is that political parties generally haven’t been very quick to adapt.”

  1. Finally, look ahead (at some new opportunities)

November is coming up fast, and between now and then, there’s a lot we at Unite America are trying to accomplish. But it’s not just us. Across the movement, there are dozens of groups that are still trucking along, in spite of it all. 

Check out DemocracyJobs.org and share it with people in your network. So many Americans are looking for a new job opportunity now, and we may just be looking for them too. Even if you’re not looking for a job, someone you know might be. 

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