Voter-Owned Elections: For the People

Long-time reform advocate and the primary sponsor of the For the People Act (HR 1), Rep. John Sarbanes (D-MD), soundly rejects opposition claims that the bill will limit free speech or burden taxpayers. To the contrary, he poses the estimated cost of public financing – one dollar per citizen annually – as a small price “to ransom your democracy back from the people who’ve taken it hostage.” Countering criticism of the bill’s size, Rep. Sarbanes explains that the comprehensive scope of the For the People Act, made up of ideas proposed by citizens around the country, necessarily addresses the systemic failures of our democracy as a coherent and holistic strategy. In fact, public opinion polling from a range of researchers on the various practical solutions proposed in the For the People Act consistently shows more than 50% support from Republican voters and high 60-70% support from independent and Democratic Party voters. The people are way ahead of the politicians and not waiting for them to catch up; they are winning local reforms and making plans to win more.  House Oversight Committee, February 06, 2019.