Daily Resource Highlight - 10/04/2021

Posted by on October 04, 2021 at 2:35 PM

Below are the highlights and featured resources of this past week’s Daily* Resource.

September 28, 2021 - The Sneaky Strength of Cooperation -- Open Primaries and Bridge Action Grants

The Bridge Alliance was founded on the idea that the best way to accomplish our collective goals is by working together. It seems obvious on paper, but….well...*gestures to various parts of the country*. That’s why we were incredibly excited to witness the success that Open Primaries had in Maine.

In the new report, “What it Took to Bring Open Primaries to Maine,” Jeremy Gruber and John Opdycke discuss the five year campaign that resulted in a bipartisan vote to enact semi-open primaries legislation. Critically, they recognized that, though they could have passed the reform on a party-line vote, “the funding, implementation, and long-term survival of the reform was more likely to be successful if [they] pursued a [cross-partisan] strategy.”

Think about that for a second. Open Primaries managed to achieve a bipartisan victory with a reform that could make it harder for partisan lawmakers to get reelected. Regardless of Maine’s independent streak, that’s impressive.

On a similar note, back in 2017 the Bridge Alliance made a grant to a coalition of members led by Millennial Action Project to bring together bipartisan pairs of young legislators from across the country. The positive effects of that grant are still being felt today, and our own Shakira Mills (virtually) sat down with CEO Layla Zaidane on the “To Build a Bridge” podcast to discuss the impact of the program and how the Millennial Action Project has grown since then.

We are incredibly proud of MAP, Open Primaries, and all the other members of the Bridge Alliance coalition who have leveraged the incredible power of collaboration in order to make an impact. We are all better off for it.

September 30, 2021 - Shoring Up a Complicated, Rickety Electoral System

It seems like every four years Americans remember that our system for deciding the next President is convoluted. I’m talking, of course, about the Electoral College, which was established in 1887 and requires presidential hopefuls to win a majority of the vote in a combination of states that add up to 270 electoral votes.

While the system has “worked” for the last 130+ years, a look under the hood reveals a machine being held together with paper clips, duct tape, and prayer (metaphorically speaking, of course).

That’s why organizations like Business for America (BfA) are encouraging lawmakers to enact a few much needed updates to the Electoral Count Act. You can learn about these proposed reforms and why they’re needed tomorrow at 1 PM ET when BfA presents “Protecting Democracy By Updating the Electoral Count Act.” If you want to impress your election nerd friends / get into the weeds with America’s election systems, this is a can’t miss event.

This event is especially timely given the known impact and efficacy of foreign misinformation campaigns on social media (AllSides). Based on an internal Facebook report, bad actors based out of Eastern Europe reached nearly half of all Americans in the lead up to the 2020 Presidential Election.

We know that America’s enemies have strong incentives to manipulate our elections. It’s in our best interest to guard against such attacks, and a good place to start is by strengthening our 19th century election systems with some 21st century upgrades.