The amount of money spent on elections in our country is harming our democracy. Not only does it limit who can run for office, but big money influences who our elected officials listen to and impacts policy outcomes.
We need to support efforts to fix our broken elections. There are a range of solutions at various levels of government being pursued across the country including ending gerrymandering, letting voters rank their top candidates, allowing participation in open primaries and changing how elections are funded to curb the influence of big money in politics.
For San Diego, I’m recommending we do the following:
- Democracy Dollars
- Ranked Choice Voting
- Campaign Finance Transparency
Democracy Dollars are publicly funded vouchers citizens can use to donate to politicians they support. The City provides everyone $100 vouchers annually to give to any political candidate they want, use it or lose it.
We need to diminish the influence that wealthy individuals and companies have in our elections. This is a fantastic way to wash out their influence.
We must make it possible for all Americans to contribute to candidates they feel strongly about, in order to drown out the voices of the few who can spend millions of dollars to influence our politicians.
This system is currently used in Seattle, and people love it.
If you want to read more about this, click here.
Ranked Choice Voting:
Instead of pick 1 candidate only for each race, each voter ranks their top three candidates (1 to 3). Every voter’s first choice is tallied. If one candidate received over 50% of the vote, they win the election. If no candidate hits 50%, the candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated. Then, everyone who listed the eliminated candidate as their 1st choice has their 2nd choice considered. This process will repeat until someone breaks 50%.
Maine currently uses Ranked Choice Voting, and people love it.
If you want to read more about this topic to learn why it’s better than our current system, check out this video.
Campaign Finance Transparency:
We need to establish a high degree of transparency around campaign finance by providing voters with campaign finance data in easy to understand charts and graphs.
Currently, campaign finance info on candidates running for local offices and info on money spent by outside groups is not readily accessible to the public. When the amount and source of money being spent is not known, voters’ feel disenfranchised by the election process. Making campaign finance data easy to access will increase public trust and confidence in the election process.
If you want to learn more, check out Voters Voice Initiative in San Diego.