Shirley Weber & Jerry Brown on Securing the VoteDescription
As we emerge from this year’s recall election, former Governor Jerry Brown remotely joins California Secretary of State Dr. Shirley Weber and Scott Shafer, Senior Editor of KQED's California Politics and Government Desk and co-host of Political Breakdown, for a deep dive into the workings of California’s distinctive electoral system -- it's potential as a model, where it falls short, and how it can improve to ensure every citizen’s vote matters.
Free and fair elections are the bedrock of American democracy. Yet voting rights are at risk nationwide as states pass new measures making it harder for Americans -- particularly communities of color, seniors, people with disabilities and students -- to exercise their constitutional franchise. In 2013, the Supreme Court struck core provisions from the Voting Right Act opening the floodgates for new state restrictions around voter ID, early voting and same-day registration to go unchecked by federal law; and since the 2020 election, 18 states have enacted more than 30 laws limiting access to the polls.
California, on the other hand, has spent the last decade removing barriers between eligible voters and the ballot box. How have these strategies to expand voter access played out? Have they improved representation in government and created a more equitable state? What influence can -- and should -- California’s electoral model have on other states? What challenges does California’s expansive electoral access and its empowerment of voters with more direct democracy present?
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