Andrew Yang - American Democracy Leader Award

“The problems in our society are getting bigger and bigger, and a lot of them are challenges that only government can address. Unfortunately, our government is not being incentivized to engage, compromise and pose solutions. It’s easier for people on either side to blame the other side. So I felt I needed to get involved in order to help provide a fix for the system itself.” - Andrew Yang

When Andrew Yang decided to run for president, few voters knew his name. Andrew’s boundless energy and focus on lifting up bold solutions to touch challenges even if they didn’t fall neatly into partisan platforms enabled him to become a household name. Ranked choice voting was one such idea – he immediately grasped its potential and became its single most prominent advocate, from the campaign trail to cable news, the FairVote Action Board of Directors to his 2021 book Forward.

In 2021, when Andrew decided to run for New York City mayor, his endorsement of RCV was put to the ultimate test –  he was on the ballot for New York City’s first use of RCV. Though Andrew did not win, he redoubled his efforts to reform our nation’s elections, embarking on a cross-country tour in support of Forward centered on structural reform that changes the incentives – and outcomes – of our nation’s politics. He regularly supports state and local reformers, lifting up the urgency and value of their work. As FairVote president Rob Richie remarks, “Whatever Andrew focuses on, he always is bringing people in the room. He's always energizing people. His embrace of ranked choice voting has been particularly special for us.”

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