Currently most reform activity is at the state level and information on state reforms can often be found at your state government site, the National Council of State Legislators , or Ballotopedia. Also see the following list for information on issues and actions at a national or state level.
Bipartisan Policy Center – “The Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC)is a non-profit organization that a combines the best ideas from both parties to promote health, security, and opportunity for all Americans. BPC drives principled and politically viable policy solutions through the power of rigorous analysis, painstaking negotiations, and aggressive advocacy.” Jason Grumet is the president. The co-founders include Howard Baker, George Mitchell, Tom Daschle, and Bob Dole. Its goal is “Reconciling Competing Interests. Engaged Balance. Diverse Funding. Public Perception.”
Brennan Center for Justice – The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law is a nonpartisan law and policy institute that works to reform, revitalize – and when necessary, defend – our country’s systems of democracy and justice. At this critical moment, the brennan center is dedicated to protecting the rule of law and the values of Constitutional democracy. We focus on voting rights, campaign finance reform, ending mass incarceration, and preserving our liberties while also maintaining our national security. Part think tank, part advocacy group, part cutting edge communications hub, we start with rigorous research. We craft innovative policies. And we fight for them – in Congress and the states, the courts, and in the court of public opinion.”
Bridge Alliance – “The Bridge Alliance is a coalition of more than 90 organizations working together as active stewards of our democratic republic. Bridge Alliance member organizations span the ideological spectrum, but are unified to work efficiently, outside arbitrarily defined political lines. Currently, we define the work of our members as residing in three sectors: (1) Civic Engagement (2) Electoral Systems and Campaigns (3) Governance and Policy Making.”
Campaign Legal Center – Campaign Legal Center is a nonpartisan organization that advances democracy through law at the federal, state and local levels, fighting for every American’s rights to responsive government and a fair opportunity to participate in and affect the democratic process.
Center for Public Integrity – The Center for Public Integrity is a nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom investigating democracy, power, and privilege. Its reporting focuses on the influence of money and the impact of inequality on our society.
Center for Political Accountability – The Center for Political Accountability is spearheading the effort to bring transparency and accountability to corporate political spending and change company political spending norms. CPA is achieving results by directly engaging companies to improve disclosure and oversight of their political spending with corporate funds.
Change the Rules – Their mission is “to reform the American political system by providing citizens with a tangible way to achieve fundamental change by being objective and ‘strategic’. Their vision is “a system with competition, where every vote counts, and money plays its proper role. We have created a route to these practical solutions.” Their approach is “to educate the public on how to enact a set of structured reforms and address problems with ‘one-click’.”
Common Cause – “Common Cause is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.” Note: This is the national Common Cause site; there are also state chapters.
Democracy Found – Democracy Found is a Wisconsin-based initiative committed to revitalizing democracy. “By implementing a system wherein the top four candidates are selected from the primary and ranked-choice voting is used in the general election, we will ensure that politicians are held accountable for delivering results.” Note: this initiative founded by Katherine Gehl.
FairVote – FairVote is “a nonpartisan champion of electoral reforms that give voters greater choice, a stronger voice, and a representative democracy that works for all Americans.” They are the driving force behind “advancing ranked choice voting and fair representation in multi-winner legislative districts that will open up our elections to better choices, fairer representation and more civil campaigns.”
FixUS – Through a number of research projects, public engagement efforts and partnerships, FixUS is committed to engaging fellow citizens to better understand and address our nation’s growing divisions, dysfunction, and distrust in our political system.
The Fulcrum – “The Fulcrum is a digital news organization focused exclusively on efforts to reverse the dysfunctions plaguing American democracy. We are nonprofit and nonpartisan. Our original stories, the news we gather from across the country and our opinion forum are all tightly focused on money in politics, redistricting, voting rights, election access, government ethics, civic engagement and the imbalance of powers.”
Gehl and Porter on Our Politics Industry – Business Executive Katherine Gehl and Harvard University Professor Michael E. Porter, have written extensively on, “why competition in the politics industry is failing America.” Gehl and Porter detail how two parties have become a powerful duopoly that has led to the polarization of government, the disappearance of moderates, and the lack of competition in most election districts. Gehl and Porter analyze the cause of these problems and offer solutions that can reinvigorate our democracy. Note: Read the latest Michael Porter research on US competitiveness and the need for political re-structuring “A Recovery Squandered.”
Independent Voter Project – “The Independent Voter Project (IVP) is a 501(c)4 organization that seeks to re-engage nonpartisan election reform through initiatives, litigation, and voter education. IVP is best known for authoring California’s successful nonpartisan primary. We work with organizations around the country to reduce the institutional barriers that limit electoral competition and restrict the two major parties from competition.”
Issue One – Issue One is “a cross-partisan political reform group in Washington. We unite Republicans, Democrats, and Independents in the movement to fix our broken political system.” Issue One takes actions “to strengthen ethics laws, reduce the influence of big money on politics, modernize elections and end the pay-to-play culture in Washington. As Americans who believe in the Constitution and have faith in our system of government, we have formed the National Council on Election Integrity — a bipartisan group of political, government, and civic leaders united around protecting the integrity of our elections.”
Leadership Now Project – The Leadership Now Project is a “nonpartisan membership organization of business professionals who are concerned with the future of our democracy and believe it is our responsibility to be part of the solution using our expertise, networks and resources.” Many members are HBS graduates.
League of Women Voters – The League of Women Voters (LWV) is a nonpartisan organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. “We envision a democracy where every person has the desire, the right, the knowledge and the confidence to participate.” Note: LWV has local chapters.
National Association of Nonpartisan Reformers – “The National Association of Nonpartisan Reformers is a collection of individuals and organizations dedicated to fostering a government that is representative of an responsive to the people, and to advancing reforms and causes that increase competition, participation, and accountability in our political system. We recognize that the remedy to our unrepresentative and unresponsive government is to credibly challenge the institutionalized advantages that transfer control of the electoral process from the people to the leadership of the Democratic and Republican parties, and we resolve to mount that challenge.”
New America – New America has a political reform program that seeks to develop new strategies and innovations to repair the dysfunction of government, restore citizen trust, and rebuild the promise of American democracy. New America has put together a database by state, organized to describe in a well-structured format the following categories of relevant state law: registration and voting systems, electoral systems (specifically: primaries, ranked choice voting and redistricting) and campaign finance.
No Labels – No Labels is a national movement of Democrats, Republicans and independents working to bring our leaders together to solve America’s toughest problems. No Labels inspired the Problem Solvers Caucus, a group of 58 evenly-divided U.S. House members committed to forge cooperation on key issues,
Open Primaries – Open Primaries is “a movement of diverse Americans who believe in a simple, yet radical idea: no American should be required to join a political party to exercise their right to vote. The mission of Open Primaries is to advocate for open and nonpartisan primary systems, counter efforts to impose closed primaries, educate voters and policymakers, advance litigation, train spokespeople, conduct and support research, and participate in the building of local, state and national open primary coalitions.”
Open Secrets – Open Secrets (Center for Responsive Politics) pursues its mission largely through its website which is the most comprehensive resource for federal campaign contributions, lobbying data and analysis available anywhere.
Rank the Vote – Rank the Vote is a non-partisan organization that empowers people across America to build grassroots movements for ranked choice voting in their respective states.
Ranked Choice Voting Resource Center – The Ranked Choice Voting Center (RCVRC) “provides a compilation of best practices and first-hand experiences from jurisdictions that have used this method of voting. Our website and overall project serve as a resource for voters, election administrators, policy makers, and candidates. We were initially funded by a grant from FairVote.” Note: there are some local ranked choice voting organizations as well – see Voter Choice MA.
Renew Democracy Initiative – Renew Democracy Initiative aims to create a movement united by the common language of constitutional values. Threats to our democracy, such as misinformation, foreign intervention, and demagoguery will not disappear. But we can create resilience to these dangers by working together to promote democratic principles and civic behavior in the public sphere.
RepresentUs – RepresentUs “brings together conservatives, progressives, and everyone in between to pass powerful anti-corruption laws that stop political bribery, end secret money, and fix our broken elections.” To fix our broken elections, RepresentUs focuses on promoting ranked choice voting, ending gerrymandering, supporting open primaries, and changing how elections are funded. Note: local chapters.
The People is a group of concerned citizens across a broad political spectrum that works to find common ground and take action to create a more responsive government.
Unite America – Unite America is “a movement of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents who are committed to bridging the growing partisan divide in order to tackle our largest challenges and leave a better country for future generations. Our mission is to pass reforms that will unrig our broken political system and elect candidates who will put country over party. ” United America’s “Fulcrum Strategy” is focused on empowering bipartisan caucuses in narrowly divided legislatures, like the US Senate, where they can use their enormous leverage to forge common ground solutions.
Voting Rights Lab – The Voting Rights Lab is a nonpartisan organization that brings state advocacy, policy, and legislative expertise to the fight for voting rights. VRL works in partnership with organizations across the country to build winning state legislative campaigns that secure, protect, and defend the voting rights of all Americans.