- Combat voter suppression
- Ensure equal access at the ballot box
- Election security
- Change attitudes around voting
Trust in our institutions is at a multi-decade low, and we need to restore people’s faith in our democracy, according to Presidential Candidate Andrew Yang.
Today, Yang unveiled a sweeping suite of proposals to improve our democracy by making sure the voices of all Americans are heard in elections. This extensive policy aims to combat voter suppression, ensure equal access at the polls, focus on election security, and increase voter participation.
Yang’s proposals come a day before the fifth Democratic debate. After the debate, he will be participating in a Fair Fight 2020 event Nov. 21 in Atlanta, where he will join volunteers texting voters purged from the rolls. Yang shares Fair Fight 2020’s goals of increasing voter participation, education, and access.
Our democracy is not functioning as well as it should. Only 55% of eligible voters cast ballots in the 2016 election. We can point to numerous reasons why people don’t vote, including laws that restrict access and practices that create cynicism and distrust among citizens. People don’t believe the government represents them, and trust is declining.
In August, Yang released a Democracy Reform package, Restoring Democracy, Rebuilding Trust, which focuses on promoting the public funding of elections through Democracy Dollars, overturning Citizens United, improving the electoral college, and more.
“We need to get control of our democracy back in the hands of the people. Election reforms will help. There’s more we can do to rebuild and ensure trust in our federal government,” Yang said.
There are four major areas of reform in Yang’s plan:
Combating Voter Suppression
The myth of voter fraud is used to justify laws that suppress the right of all Americans to vote. Yang would require a federal standard for elections, outlawing discriminatory policies. Yang’s plan would:
- Restore full protections of the Voting Rights Act
- Prohibit voter ID laws, limit voter roll purges, and end signature matching requirements;
- Require adequate voting locations that do not change at the last minute;
- Implement automatic and same-day voter registration;
- Allow early voting and vote-by-mail; and
- Ensure protections for provisional ballots.
Ensure Access to the Ballot Box
We must take steps to make sure all Americans have the right to vote. We have to recognize that current laws disenfranchise specific communities. Yang’s plan would:
- Support the passage of the Native American Voting Rights Act and other measures that remove barriers for Native Americans to vote;
- Make sure all people with disabilities can vote with ease;
- Restore voting rights for felons;
- Make Election Day a federal holiday; and
- Lower the voting age to 16.
Our current election system is vulnerable to foreign hackers and bad software. We must build election infrastructure that is both technologically secure and easy for voters to use. This will require investment and regulation. Yang’s plan would:
- Fund voting machines that are secure from outside attacks, which means they are disconnected from the internet and have a paper trail;
- Give states adequate funding to obtain proper voting machinery and train staff; and
- Invest in cybersecurity, including the research of e-voting and other modern voting systems.
Change Attitudes Around Voting
Every American should know that their vote matters. We must implement policies that change attitudes around voting. There are things we can do to increase voter participation and trust in our democracy. Yang’s plan would:
- Implement Ranked Choice Voting;
- Repeal Citizens United and establish a Democracy Dollars program; and
- End partisan gerrymandering.
To read the full Voter Access policy proposal, click here.