Fulcrum / November 9, 2022
While the results of the midterm elections will impact policymaking at the federal and state levels for the next few years, some contests will also affect how democracy itself is implemented at all levels of government.
Voters in many states had the opportunity to weigh in on not just abortion and gun policies but also voter ID rules, changes to campaign finance systems, ranked-choice voting proposals and even how ballot initiatives will be managed in the future.
The results are not all final, those contests that have been decided are full of conflicting results, which should not be surprising in a country that is divided into mostly red and blue states.
Ashley Spillane, co-founder of the Civic Responsibility Project, described Election Day as “a big win for democracy,” not only because many candidates who have claimed the 2020 election was fraudulent lost, but also because she saw many high points amid the ballot questions results.
“Another good sign is that voters in Michigan strongly supported an expansion of voting rights and election integrity. Connecticut voters supported a ballot measure that creates early voting in the state,” said Spillane, whose organization works with nonprofits and businesses to increase civic engagement. “Nebraska’s measure requiring photo identification to vote shows that voter suppression efforts will continue to be barriers between voters and the ballot box. Arizona and Nevada’s voting measures remain uncalled and a mixed bag.”
Ranked-choice voting was on the ballot in nearly a dozen jurisdictions – in cities, counties and states. While it didn’t pass everywhere, it did pave the way for a significant increase in the number of people who may use alternative voting methods in future elections.
“Ranked choice voting this week again showed why it’s the fastest-growing nonpartisan voting reform in the country,” said Rob Richie, president and CEO of FairVote, which advocates for RCV.
Following is a breakdown of many of the ballot initiatives that will impact future elections.