Why Progressives (and Conservatives) Don’t Get Democracy—And Why They Should

Twenty-five years ago, a city manager looked at me gravely and said, “I’m not a big fan of unbridled democracy.” I had just suggested ways that she could engage large, diverse numbers of people in a deliberative process to plan the future of her city. She was skeptical.

Why? Because all my ideas about giving citizens a voice in decision-making went against the grain of her training and outlook on how public life is supposed to work. As a highly competent administrator and expert, she was used to a system where …

Why Are Democrats Reluctant to Be Woke? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why Are Democrats Reluctant to Be Woke?

The Party’s Fear of Alienating White Voters Is Misplaced—And Creating a Missed Opportunity

Recent debates over how race fits into American politics have centered on one word: “woke.” Florida’s “Stop WOKE Act,” which took effect in July, is intended to restrict how schools …

How to End the Vicious Cycle of Dysfunctional California Governance

Real Change Means Integrating Our Direct Democracy Into the State’s Entire System

California lawmakers and civic leaders are debating changes to our state’s direct democracy. But not one of the proposed changes is bold enough to reach the heart of what’s wrong …

Why Hand Counting Votes Makes Every Vote Count

From Maine to Alaska, Manual Tallies Bring Trust and Transparency to Nerve-Racking Elections

Just before the polls closed on election night, I met with 12 of my townspeople at our town hall in Maine, raised my right hand, and took an oath to …

I’ll Vote, But First, Let Me Take A Selfie

Snapping and Sharing a Photo of Your Ballot Is Good for Democracy

Voting, James Madison once wrote, is fundamental in a constitutional republic like America. Yet “at the same time,” he noted, its “regulation” is “a task of peculiar delicacy.”

Madison was talking …

Take It From a Poll Worker, the System Isn’t Rigged

The People Who Staff Voting Precincts Put Aside Their Opinions So That You Can Express Yours

Recently, Donald Trump issued a typically bombastic call for supporters to go to polling stations and watch for voter fraud, strongly suggesting that the only way he would lose the …