“Opinion: Three ways Congress can muscle-up to your voting rights”

Michael Golden and Larry Lessig in the Chicago Sun-Times:

Fortunately, some in Congress are working toward a solution. Just before the national conventions, the House Democratic leadership announced its “By The
People” (BTP) legislative package. These reforms, backed by 187 members of the rank-and-file, are designed to “revitalize our nation’s voting laws, restore sanity to the electoral process, and empower everyday Americans to reclaim their voice in the political process.”

First, BTP would take a big step toward reforming the practice of gerrymandering by mandating independent state commissions that would more fairly draw America’s lopsided congressional districts. When over 84 percent of U.S. House races are foregone conclusions before voting even begins, and 95 percent of incumbents are reelected, largely due to rigged districts, it is time to take action. Clinton supports such action. Not a word from her opponent.

Second, BTP would restore essential provisions of the Voting Rights Act, which was eviscerated by the Supreme Court 2013 Shelby v. Holder ruling; promote automatic voter registration for all Americans when they turn 18; and expand early, in-person voting in every state. Clinton supports these actions. Not a word from her opponent.

Third, and perhaps most importantly, BTP would change the way congressional elections are funded, by leveraging small donations up to $150 with public matching funds at a ratio of 6 to 1— and 9 to 1 for candidates who choose not to accept contributions over $150. The law would force disclosure of the millions of dollars in dark money contributions that currently remain hidden within our system, and replace the gridlocked FEC with a five-member agency possessing increased investigative and enforcement powers. Clinton supports these changes. Silence from her opponent.


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