Ohio has purged 2 million voters from 2011 to 2016, more than any other state, including 1.2 million for infrequent voting. At least 144,000 voters in Ohio’s three largest counties, home to Cleveland, Columbus, and Cincinnati, were purged since the 2012 election, with voters in Democratic-leaning neighborhoods twice as likely to be removed as those in Republican-leaning ones, according to a Reuters analysis.
New quantitative approaches—measures of how biased a map is, and algorithms that can create millions of alternative maps—could help set a concrete standard for how much gerrymandering is too much ... some of these new approaches helped convince a United States district court to invalidate the Wisconsin state assembly district map—the first time in more than 30 years that any federal court has struck down a map for being unconstitutionally partisan.
In California, voters passed ballot measures...that took power to draw political maps away from the Legislature and handed it to an independent citizens commission made up of five Democrats, five Republicans and four people not affiliated with a major party. Politicians, lobbyists and campaign donors are not eligible to serve on the commission. California is the only state that’s removed politicians from the map-drawing process...15 other states have taken the authority away from the legislature
The Texas voter ID law was...put on hold after the Justice Department intervened. When the Supreme Court limited the scope of the Voting Rights Act in a 2013 decision, Texas put the law into immediate effect. Texans were required to show one of seven forms of government-issued photo ID at the polls in local, statewide and federal elections. But the law...was rolled back for the November 2016 election, largely because of the DOJ’s success in arguing the law was discriminatory in intent and effect
Currently, the most promising initiative to replace the Electoral College is the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. Beginning in 2006, a sequence of states have made a pledge to award their electoral votes to the winner of the nationwide popular vote on condition that the states within the compact command at least 270 electoral votes—the minimum needed to elect a president. This condition creates a coordinating mechanism—states would move to the new system together, not unilaterally.
The US also ranks 52nd out of all 153 countries worldwide in the cross-national electoral integrity survey. The comparison is even worse for the issue of district boundaries, where the U.S. score is the second lowest in the world ... the worst in electoral integrity among similar Western democracies.
Numerous times since the civil rights era, courts have struck down how partisan state legislatures set up legislative districts on the grounds that those decisions diminished the political power of racial minorities. But courts have been far less likely to intervene in cases where states organized voting districts to boost one party, preferring to not get involved in explicitly political matters ... more significant change could come following a ruling by the Supreme Court
While some European countries and a handful of American cities, such as Cambridge, have ranked choice voting, Maine will be the first place it is used statewide ... supporters say this system solves a number of election problems faced across the nation—yet particularly so in Maine ... they say it resolves the conundrum of strategic voting, in which residents worry that their ballot may have a “spoiler effect” if they cast it for a third-party candidate.
there have been more proposed constitutional amendments to change the Electoral College than any other topic (700 proposals in Congress in the last 200 years!) ... after a proposed amendment passes in Congress, it has to be approved by three-fourths of the states. (There’s an alternate path to amending the Constitution, but it’s even more arcane.) And enough states are made more influential in the Electoral College that they wouldn’t be on board with a constitutional change
No third-party presidential ticket has qualified for all 50 state ballots since 1996, when Libertarian Harry Browne and Reform Party candidate Ross Perot were on every state ballot ... voters in 44 states and Washington, D.C., are expected to see Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein on the ballot ... The Green Party qualified for 36 state ballots plus D.C. in 2012. The party’s previous best year for ballot access was 2000, when Ralph Nader appeared on 43 state ballots.