This podcast originally appeared on the University of Washington’s Political Economy Forum Website.
Guest: Kevin Johnson, Executive Director of the Election Reformers Network, senior member of the US Election Expert Team at the Carter Center; member of Advisory Boards of Fairvote, Issue One, and Voter Choice Massachusetts.
James is joined by Kevin Johnson for a follow up to their previous episode. Kevin is the Executive Director and Founder of the Election Reformers Network and a senior member of the US Election Expert Team headed by the Carter Center.
In this part 2 episode, Kevin and James discuss how we should tackle some of the persistent challenges to democracy in the US as they relate to how we vote and conduct elections. Kevin’s efforts with the Election Reformers Network has focused on alternatives to the electoral college, non-partisan redistricting to end gerrymandering, campaign finance, ranked choice voting, and impartial election administration.
Other related work mentioned in the podcast and some additional links:
Kevin’s work with the Election Reformers Network on Electoral College reform by removing “winner-take-all” votes at the state level with a “top-two proportional vote” (also starring Lawrence Lessig, Andrew Yang, and Alex Keyssar).
Other short movies from Kevin Bowe as good explainers on election reforms, including ranked choice voting, redistricting, and campaign finance.
The importance of impartial election administrators at the state level.
Seattle’s innovative “Democracy Vouchers” program as a potential fix to campaign financing.
How a Michigan woman’s Facebook post “leads to Michigan vote against gerrymandering.”
After taping, Kevin and James discussed the potential for election crimes, per the story of an “‘emotionally disturbed’ man charged in burning of ballot box” in Boston.
And Democracy International’s Eric Bjornlund published a piece in Foreign Policy about “how the 2020 U.S. Elections resemble those of fragile democracies.”