Good Government

Good Government

Good Government Symposium Series logo

The League of Women Voters studies and advocates on a number of policy issues, but there is a core group of good governance issues that impact all of the rest. Without solid voting rights laws, or campaign finance laws, or redistricting reform, our entire democratic process is threatened. 

Our 2021 Good Governance Symposium aims to promote education and awareness relating to critical good government issues affecting our democracy. 

Session 1: Voting Rights

Voting is a fundamental right and all eligible voters should have the equal opportunity to exercise that right. We are dedicated to ensuring that our elections remain free, fair and accessible. This important first session set the stage for our entire series. We explored the history of the Voting Rights Act, attempts to dismantle the legislation, including the impacts of Shelby County v. Holder (2013), recent voting restrictions and solutions to move forward and ensure every person has a voice. 

Take Action: Ask your US Senator to pass the For the People Act

The "For the People Act" has already passed the US House of Representatives, and would be a significant step forward on good government issues, including voting rights. “The For the People Act is the most expansive democracy reform legislation we have seen since the Voting Rights Act,” said Virginia Kase, CEO of the League of Women Voters. “This bill will protect voting rights, eliminate dark money in our elections, restore transparency and accountability in our government, and curb partisan and racial gerrymandering once and for all.” 

Session 2: Redistricting Reform

Political and racial gerrymandering distorts and undermines representative democracy by allowing officials to select their voters rather than voters to elect their officials. Gerrymandering often reduces competitiveness and increases hyperpartisanship. 2021 is a redistricting year, and Session 2 showed why fair maps are critical to our democracy. 

Session 3: Electoral College and Institutional Reform

Our third session focused on another set of timely topics that come with a complicated history but greatly impact the future of our democracy. Here's why we oppose the Electoral College and call for National Popular Vote instead. Session 3 also looked at the use of the Filibuster; here's why we believe Senate filibuster reform could strengthen our democracy.

Session 4: Money in Politics

Our fourth session discussed how reducing the influence of big money in our politics would make our elections fairer. Voters have the right to know who is raising money for which political candidates, how much money they are raising and how that money is being spent. We looked at the history of money in politics and solutions to prioritize transparency in our elections. 

Session 5: Election Systems and Voter Representation

Monday, June 21, 6pm: 

Recording will be available here shortly. This final session explored how election systems can enhance voter representation. We will start by reviewing South Carolina’s current election systems. We will then examine a number of topics through the lens of Ranked Choice Voting. This includes: open primaries, at-large vs. single member districts, and citizen-led ballot initiatives.

Constitutional law scholar John Simpkins began the evening for us by giving a historical background on voting systems used in South Carolina and elsewhere that enhance or limit voter representation and engagement (as voters and candidates).

Paula Lee and Dr. Barbara Klein, LWV experts on Ranked Choice Voting (RCV), then gave details on RCV (which is currently only used in South Carolina for military/overseas voting but has been adopted more broadly in some other cities and states.) They also discussed the impact that other voting approaches (including single-member districts vs at-large districts) have on voter representation and engagement.

If you'd like to learn more about Ranked Choice Voting, we invite you to visit the Ranked Choice Voting Resource Center website.