The quest for a sustainable region and healthy, just, affordable communities is blocked again and again by broken or dysfunctional institutions. From making polluters pay for their carbon pollution to updating Cascadia’s transportation infrastructure, from fixing our education systems to protecting our natural heritage, we cannot move forward without deep changes to the rules governing campaign finance, voter rights, and elections—changes that return power to the people, rather than concentrate it in the hands of wealthy individuals or corporations.

Sightline’s research aims to map a path to democracy reform to restore power to voters and free our systems from partisan gridlock and maneuvering—a path that even hard-headed political realists will recognize as both passable and essential.

Jeannette Lee, senior researcher and Alaska lead, focuses on democracy and housing issues from Sightline’s office in Anchorage, Alaska. Follow her on Twitter, @JLee907.
Jay Lee, research associate, works in Sightline’s Democracy program. He has a quantitative background in statistics and elections research. Follow him on Twitter at @jaylee_tx.
Nakeshia Diop, research assistant from the Alaska Fellows Program, works on democracy and housing issues in Anchorage.
Alaska Election Map showing where regional election offices are located

Alaska Elections 2022

In 2022, Alaskans will hold their first elections using a combination of open (nonpartisan) primaries and, in the general election, ranked choice votingAlaskans passed this powerful reform through a citizen’s initiative in 2020. The new system puts Alaska on the vanguard of election reform in America. It has significant potential to tamp down political polarization and make room for a range of viewpoints that the current two-party system cannot accommodate. Follow Sightline Senior Researcher and Alaska Lead Jeannette Lee, based in Anchorage, as well as Alaskans for Better Elections, for analysis of election developments and resources for organizations engaged in voter education.

Becoming A Democracy: How We Can Fix The Electoral College, Gerrymandering, And Our Elections

The US Senate doesn’t represent people. Both sides hate gerrymandering and the courts refuse to fix it. Our right to be heard is defeated by voter suppression and an Electoral College system that reverses the popular vote. The US wasn’t built as a democracy. But within our flawed system, you have the tools to tackle our most stubborn election problems by flexing state and local power (no constitutional amendments or courts required). For Becoming A Democracy, Kristin Eberhard thoughtfully researched how the US election system is unjust to many by design, and walks you through 10 big but practical ideas for making elections free, fair, and secure. Now is the time.

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Series in Democracy