Our Senior Communications Fellow David Daley went live on Facebook on Monday afternoon to talk about the current state of our Democracy, his new book, Unrigged: How Americans Are Battling Back to Save Democracy, and the four states that implemented vote-by-mail and ranked choice voting ahead of the Covid-19 crisis.
Check out his talk below, including timestamps where Dave covers RCV, wasted votes, the pandemic, and more.
Timestamp 4:00 - Daley addresses the fact that, despite the reality that many states have been forced to postpone their primaries due to Covid-19, states that planned ahead with vote-by-mail combined with RCV—Hawaii, Alaska, Wyoming, and Kansas—are set to conduct their elections largely as scheduled.
Timestamp 6:30 - Over 2 million people who cast their ballots early via mail-in ballots “wasted their votes”—meaning they voted early for a presidential candidate who dropped out of the race before election day. If RCV had been implemented, people’s votes could have been transferred to the next viable choice, ensuring everyone’s voice would count.
Timestamp 10:15 - Daley tells the story of Katie Fahey, one of the activists who inspired him to write Unrigged. Fahey, a 27-year-old upset with gerrymandering in Michigan, started a movement to fight against rigged districts in her state and won.
Timestamp 11:50 - Daley relays the story of Desmond Meade, who worked tirelessly to give 1.7 million formerly incarcerated Floridians the right to vote. Meade also served as an inspiration for Daley’s book.
Timestamp 17:55 - While the forces arrayed against good government never stop pushing, there’s good news: “people are pushing back.” While there are bumps in the road, people are working hard to fight for the rights of their fellow citizens—”the work of keeping a democracy.”
Timestamp 20:15 - Daley tells a story about Sherry, a woman from Alabama who lost her voting rights for smoking marijuana as a 17-year-old teenager. Daley details his work alongside the Alabama Voting Rights Project in going door-to-door to alert former felons that their rights to vote were restored.
Timestamp 26:25 - Daley explains, in detail, how ranked choice voting will work in upcoming presidential primaries in Wyoming, Alaska, Kansas, and Hawaii.
Timestamp 30:10 - Daley, asked a question about multi-winner districts, and took the opportunity to explain the Fair Representation Act. The FRA, introduced by Congressman Don Beyer (VA-8) would institute multi-member districts with representatives selected via RCV, reducing polarization and giving voters more voice and choice in their elections.
Timestamp 34:00 - Daley sounds a hopeful note about media portrayal of good government reforms, noting how coverage has been much better in recent years.
Timestamp 37:50 - Once again, Daley salutes the states that have combined mail-in ballots with RCV to ensure their voters will have a say even amid a pandemic.