ELECTION REFORM

Democratic institutions are only as strong as they are credible – and they are undermined when they distort the electoral process to benefit those who are already in power. Those distortions occur when districts are drawn to pack the voters of one party into one district while diluting their presence in others. They also happen when, as in New Jersey, primary ballots are deliberately constructed to make it more likely that a candidate favored by the party elite will win simply because of where on the ballot they appear.

Just as we support an end to voting restriction laws, so do we support election reforms that put the drawing of district lines into the hands of independent commissions and that encourage the adoption of objective standards for determining whether district maps have truly been drawn to avoid an undue partisan advantage. We also support reforms that change the way primary ballots are constructed in New Jersey so that party favorites are not unduly advantaged by being placed on a visually dominant “party line” that suggests that, somehow, everyone off the line is just a “fringe candidate”. And we support efforts of legal groups that have mounted Supreme Court challenges to gerrymandering so as to end the practice nationwide.

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