You may have heard the recent news that some votes in California are being accused of manipulation by government officials based on party registration status of certain voters. This is scary, and this is something people of all backgrounds and political persuasions can agree is a terrible threat to the health of our democracy and the viability of our Constitution’s guarantee to each state a republican form of government.
That sounds dire, but let me explain. If we can’t trust the process by which voters choose their leaders, how can we trust the leaders who are elected therein? If we can’t trust them, how can we have faith in policies they advocate for and how can we possibly buy into the notion of nationalism?
Democracy is being threatened in Los Angeles, but that doesn’t mean things can’t change. First, we need to come together to decide we are going to publicly fund elections in this country at all levels of government, thereby creating an equal playing field for parties who can reach a high but reasonable bar. We need to make voter registration automatic so that voters can vote at any time, even if they choose to do so on Election Day. This also prevents voters from being abused by repressive voter ID laws. We need to consider limiting our political campaign season to six months by statute, as other countries have done with much popular support.
We can take steps to create a better democracy for cities like Los Angeles. We just have to have the courage to.