Single Subject Bills

Forty-one State constitutions include rules that limit the scope of laws to a single purpose, subject, or work. Adding this clause to the US constitution will avoid the current practice of turning every bill into an omnibus of incongruous provisions to advance multiple agendas at once. It will also curtail the "poison pill" tactic that either intentionally wrecks a bill or gives legislators a justification for opposing it. 

Proportional Representation 

Despite their obvious negative qualities, political parties are vital to an organized electorate and the meaningful dialogue about policy alternatives. The US Constitution needs to account for political parties in its mechanisms for assigning legislative representation—which it currently omits—but in a way that prevents a two-party system from dominating Congress. A proportional representation system would permit third-party representation to exist and contribute to policy-making.

Term Lengths

Only five States—AlabamaLouisianaMarylandMississippi and North Dakota—assign a four-year term to state representatives, while the majority of States assign a four-year term to state senators. The US Constitution should adjust term lengths to four years for both US senators and representatives. They should overlap entirely, aligning with the presidential term, meaning every incumbent is up for re-election every four years. A four-year term for representatives allows them to focus on long-term policy-making rather than short-term primary campaigning and fund-raising cycles. This change would eliminate the mid-term election, which is a poor tool as a public referendum on government, and has the unfortunate consequence of allowing a small portion of the electorate upset the dynamic of Congress through purely political whims. Policy does not operate on two-year time frames; government should not either.

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A National Holiday

There is no better way to celebrate our democracy, our freedom, and our right to vote granted by our Constitution than by dedicating Election Day each November as a national holiday, regardless if it is an election year or not. It will be an annual reminder that each of us must perform our civic duty to contribute to democracy. It will also boost voter turnout, against which no reasonable argument can be made. 

21st Century Voting Rights Act

The 1965 Voting Rights Act sought to remove the barriers placed in front of disenfranchised African Americans. We must not only renew our commitment to preventing voting restrictions that promote racial discrimination, but tear down all obstruction to free and open elections. It must encourage early and electronic voting and establish mandatory voter station densities, but also prohibit voter identification and residency requirements. There is a reasonable theoretical argument that we must prevent voter fraud, but the is little evidence of actual voter fraud in American history, because casting one fraudulent vote is like stealing from banks one dollar at a time: the reward is not worth the risk. The real outcome of such practices are an undue burden on voters that result in disenfranchisement.

Align All Elections

Spreading primaries and elections across months and years results in lower turnout outside of general Presidential elections every four years. The goal should be to maximize voter turnout and maximize the voice of voter to contribute to the election of all of their political representatives, not just the President. 

Independent Districting

Gerrymandering is a pervasive problem that can under-represent minority or political groups by breaking them apart across oddly-shaped districts. There is a clear conflict of interest when legislators draw the boundaries to the own legislative districts and constituencies. Six states—Alaska, Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, and Washington—require independent commissions to redraw legislative districts. These non-partisan commissions constitute community members committed to fair representation and exclude elected politicians. This model should be mandatory nationally at all levels of government by sheer principles of fairness and non-bias. 

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