AEI Webinar: Structural Election Reform: What Is Happening in the States?

December 4, 2023
Election Reformers Network

This post originally appeared on the American Enterprise Institute website.

On December 4, 2023, AEI’s Kevin R. Kosar welcomed the R Street Institute’s Matt Germer, the Election Reformers Network’s Kevin Johnson, and former state Rep. Gene Krebs to discuss various states’ structural election reform.

Mr. Germer noted that rules shape incentives and behavior, and recent elections held in Alaska under a ranked-choice voting system highlight the potential for similar reforms, leading candidates to build cross-partisan appeal and voters of the minority party to have some say in selecting elected officials.

Drawing on experience as an elected representative and political candidate, Rep. Krebs argued that reforms such as ranked-choice voting would improve civility on the campaign trail and allow candidates to have a fair fight on an array of policy issues, whereas the current system pulls attention primarily to hot-button issues.

Mr. Johnson, focusing on redistricting reform, noted that more states are moving the duty of redistricting away from legislatures and to independent commissions or under judicial oversight. Despite this, electoral results have not disproportionately favored one party.

Contrary to concerns about structural reforms weakening parties and their electoral prospects, panelists argued that political parties should consider supporting these reforms given the large, growing, and bipartisan support for structural election reform.