From Maryland to South Dakota, Voters Say No To Big Money
While the country is rightly focused on the stunning election of Donald Trump on Tuesday, here’s an under-the-radar trend worth taking notice of. Voters in places big and small–red states and blue states–approved important ballot initiatives aimed at reducing the power of big money and strengthening our democracy.
- Missouri voters overwhelmingly approved a measure to reinstate contribution limits for state elections (though they unfortunately also supported a restrictive voter ID measure).
- In Multnomah County, Oregon, a contribution limits measure won with 88 percent of the vote.
- South Dakota voters approved IM-22 to increase transparency, reduce the power of lobbyists, strengthen enforcement measures, and empower everyday people through a small-dollar voucher program. The initiative faced stiff opposition from the Koch-backed group there.
- Voters in Berkeley, Calif. approved a measure to create a small-donor matching system for elections.
- Voters in Howard County, Md. approved a charter amendment that will now allow the county council to create a small donor program like neighboring Montgomery County passed a couple years ago. Council members are ready to make it happen.
- Voters in Washington State approved an anti-Citizens United resolution.
- Voters in California also approved an anti-Citizens United resolution.
- In Speaker Paul Ryan’s home of Rock County, Wisc., 86 percent of voters approved an anti-Citizens United resolution. In fact, 18 communities in Wisconsin approved such measures last night.
- Rhode Island approved an ethics reform initiative, adding some teeth to the state’s ethics enforcement agency.
- In Alaska, voters will now be automatically registered to vote when they file their personal dividend fund form.
- Maine voters approved ranked-choice voting.
The power of money’s role in politics is an issue that crosses party lines, and these victories last night to strengthen our democracy show people want action to create a democracy that works for everyone.