Kathryn Murdoch, Daughter-in-Law of Rupert, Putting Big Bucks Behind Election Reform Group

John Schwartz in the NYT:

Now, working with the nonpartisan group Unite America, she is connecting like-minded organizations that are trying to overhaul the democratic process of voting to make it less likely to reward partisanship. She is also raising funds to ensure that the network will be effective.


She and her husband have already invested millions in their work toward these ends, and are “anchor funders” in the larger plan, she said, with an ultimate goal that she characterized as being in the “nine figures.” (While she declined to be more specific, the lowest nine-figure number is $100 million.)…

She took a deep dive into possible solutions to partisan deadlock and reviewed the players in the diffuse field known as democracy reform: Small groups that push for changes in the electoral system.
Some of the avenues her groups are pursuing include ranked-choice voting, in which voters rank candidates in order of their preference. Proponents of this method argue that it reduces the tendency of primaries to reward candidates who work mainly to energize their base, and favors candidates who have the broadest appeal. She is also interested in initiatives to restrict gerrymandering and increase access to voting through proposals like automatic registration, as well as open primaries, in which voters do not need to declare their party affiliation….

Sounding a note of skepticism, Richard H. Pildes, a professor at New York University Law School and an expert on constitutional law and democracy, said that democracy reform efforts were laudable but a long shot. They “might have effects at the margins,” he said, but “these reforms are not likely to fundamentally transform our politics from this hyper-polarized era we’ve been in for nearly 40 years.”

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