Washington, D.C. — Democracy remains under assault from multiple forces, including partisan elected leaders who are trying to entrench political minority rule.
A new report from the Center for American Progress highlights two states—Wisconsin and North Carolina—where Republican-led legislatures are breaking political norms to lock in their power for years to come. The report also recommends reforms that would reverse these anti-democratic political power grabs.
Partisan lawmakers in Wisconsin and North Carolina are aggressively putting up barriers to lock out a growing political majority and hinder progress. These barriers include drawing extreme partisan legislative maps; limiting long-held authorities of governors; passing voter suppression and election sabotage laws; and steering state supreme courts toward preferred results.
CAP’s report outlines several structural reforms and other mechanisms that can be used to blunt these minority rule measures:
- Banning partisan gerrymandering
- Establishing an affirmative legal right to vote
- Enacting nationwide federal standards that expand access to the ballot and thwart partisan election subversion
- Passing ballot measures
- Creating a nonpartisan movement to help counter anti-democracy power grabs
“Breaking political norms to lock in political power is deeply unhealthy for our democracy,” said Michael Sozan, a senior fellow at CAP and author of the report. “These legislatures, currently led by Republican majorities, are defying long-accepted political norms to stack the political deck in their favor for years to come. And it’s happening even when a majority of the state’s voters may not support these candidates or policy agendas. The good news is that there are multiple reforms that can blunt these attempts to grab power.”
Read the report: “Threats From Political Minority Rule in Wisconsin and North Carolina” by Michael Sozan
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