The U.S. election system is in crisis. Big-money interests dominate U.S. politics in ways unknown in other industrialized countries, with social and environmental progress often blocked by officials who cater to big donors to insure re-election funds. Incumbents are unfairly insulated by district gerrymandering and rules, which obstruct independent candidates and parties. In recent years, voters themselves have faced political and even racial obstacles in casting votes and in getting their votes counted.
Soon after its formation, PDA worked with Rep. John Conyers in exposing the 2004 election irregularities in Ohio that helped elect Bush. PDA activists engaged in “election protection” monitoring during the 2006 voting. We support federal legislation that bans the further use of touch-screen (DRE) voting machines for counting votes, establishes a paper ballot as the official record for deriving voter intent, and requires rigorous mandatory audits of elections. To eliminate big-money dominance, PDA supports comprehensive campaign finance reform at the state and national level, including Clean Money public financing of the public’s elections, plus free TV time for candidates—one way to counter the overwhelming influence from corporate-funded advertising now allowed following the Citizens United v Federal Election Commission decision in 2010.
PDA opposes the racially biased disenfranchisement of felons who’ve served their time, and supports reforms like “Instant Runoff”/proportional voting and paper ballots, which assure more accurate and broader representation than winner-take-all elections.
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