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This policy brief discusses the problem of lower voter turnout in municipal and county elections. The brief discusses possible causes for this issue such as low voter engagement, a lack of community grounding, and the absence of viable political options. The brief proposes solutions to this problem including the enfranchisement of new voters and the public finance of local elections.
American democracy is at a crossroads. To deliver on the promise of a representative inclusive democracy our electoral system must provide every American the opportunity to meaningfully participate and make their voice heard in our democracy. That starts by guaranteeing that every eligible person has the ability to register and cast a ballot that is counted. However more than a decade of attacks on voting rights and democratic participation - from Shelby County v. Holder to restrictive state voter ID laws - have undermined these core principles of representative democracy and have eroded the political participation of ordinary citizens and the Rising American Electorate.