Pledge to Stand with Voters: A New FairVote Initiative

by Elizabeth Hudler, Rob Richie // Published November 8, 2012

The 2012 elections underscored the stark partisanship that governs U.S. politics and divides Americans. Two-thirds of our states now have what we call "monopoly politics" : one party holds a majority of the state legislature, holds the governor's seat and won the state's presidential vote. At the same time, the national vote is very closely divided, fostering extreme competition. In such a competitive environment, politicians jockey for every advantage they can get.


Partisan pundits and politicians blame redistricting, the media, campaign spending and one another for political polarization and gridlock. They are quick to point fingers and shout foul at every turn, claiming the other side for manipulating the system to win races unfairly. But they too easily overlook their own roles in prioritizing partisan outcomes over democratic principles.

It's time to focus on those who are hurt most by partisan bickering and static politics -- the voters and the many Americans who have turned away from politics in disgust. This year alone, two in five eligible voters did not vote, many citing their frustration.

With our "Pledge to Stand with Voters', FairVote asserts that it's time to fight for democratic principle over partisan politicking. Promoting and protecting our representative democracy is far more important than seeking short-term advantage in electoral rules.

Here's our pledge. We ask that you read it, sign it and share it with your friends. Thank you!


Pledge to Stand with Voters

Voters come first. Not politicians, not pundits, not PACs. Voters.

Democracy means a level playing field. We are tired of our leaders weighing election laws and reforms by what the advantages or disadvantages they offer a specific party or incumbent. When it comes to democracy, America is better than that.

Reforming democracy is what Americans do. Our founders left us with a republican framework which we have regularly reviewed and enhanced to strengthen democracy. Every generation has taken steps to improve elections and increase participation.

Now, it’s our turn.

As an American who believes in truly representative democracy, I pledge to:

  • Support actions to increase voter turnout and voter education
  • Oppose tactics to game elections through manipulation of voting rights and election laws
  • Evaluate reforms based on whether they promote a level playing field for all, not whether they hurt or help my party
  • Support laws that allow for voter choice and oppose laws that suppress it
  • Open my mind new ideas that might strengthen democracy