Republicans Want More Voter Suppression. Here’s How to Make Elections More Fair — Not Less.
U.S. democracy needs an overhaul — not to restrict voting but to shut down politicians who seek to tilt the rules at the people’s expense. Using their power over federal elections, Democrats and any Republicans of conscience in Congress must make such an overhaul a top priority in the coming months. Fortunately, Democrats have an appealing bill ready to go that they have been crafting for years. The For the People Act would require automatic voter registration, which could add 50 million people to electoral rolls while improving their quality. It would mandate bipartisan redistricting commissions for congressional maps, ending partisan gerrymandering in federal elections. The bill would ensure access to early and mail-in voting and restore voting rights to people with prior criminal convictions. And it would create a public financing system for political campaigns, amplifying the power of small contributions with matching funds for candidates who decide to participate. The package would level the playing field in places where it is now badly tilted and expand access to the ballot box without risking election integrity. If anything, it does not do enough; the Jan. 6 electoral vote counting fiasco in Congress showed that the creaky laws governing the electoral college also need an overhaul. The 2020 election showed that the nation’s electoral system is unacceptably vulnerable — not to voter fraud but to politicians who seek to deny the will of the voters. A thorough renovation is needed, now.