2020 Democrats and their "Democracy Stance" as far as I know



Well, we all know that the 2020 Democratic party field is getting very crowded. What I am doing here is showing where each one is in reforming our democracy. The idea is that CES can reach out to some of these individuals and persuade them to perhaps support Score Voting for congressional and maybe even presidential elections. The score can be used as a targeting metric. (Candidates with a 1.5 might be easier to persuade than 2s, because 1.5s have not been disinformed into IRV support… but then again, perhaps 2s are better since they are open to non-FPTP options.)


This list shows all of the 2020 Democratic candidates according to a four-point scale as follows:

  • 0 means the candidate has not expressed support for any kind of repairs to democracy. More likely, it means I was unable to find anything.
  • 1 means the candidate expressed support for “standard” democracy repairs (like anti-suppression, corporate spending, expanding the time/dates of the election, etc).
    • 1.5 means a 1 plus wanting to end gerrymandering.
  • 2 means the candidate supports illusory reform voting. (Which could be seen as a victory in itself just because it means the person is open to non-FPTP options.)
  • 3 means that the candidate supports Score, STAR, or Approval.

I am only looking at the candidates’ campaign websites and, if possible, their house.gov or senate.gov website.

Cory Booker: 1

Nothing so far on corybooker.com, but booker.senate.gov showed support for voting rights and corporate spending reform.

Pete Buttigieg: ???

I am reserving ??? for candidates where I did not find any information at all about their issues and platform.

Julián Castro: ???

John Delaney: 1.5

Tulsi Gabbard: 1?

Kirsten Gillibrand: 0

Nothing on either senate.gov or her website that I could find, but I found lots of other issues mentioned.

Kamala Harris: ???

One mention of “voting rights” in a video was all I could find.

John Hickenlooper: ???

Jay Inslee: 0

Amy Klobuchar: 1

Beto O’Rourke: 0

Bernie Sanders: 2

Moved from 1 to 2 as I found evidence.

Elizabeth Warren: 1

Marianne Williamson: 1.5

Andrew Yang: 2

Edited as per request.

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Would it be helpful to include any statements from other sources someone knows about, like these ones made by Andrew Yang?


Bernie Sanders has definitely considered non-FPTP voting methods in the past. This was a statement he gave about IRV in 2007 in which he referenced the success of IRV in Burlington up to that point:https://www.fairvote.org/the-ranked-choice-voting-act

The non-monotonic/participation criteria violation/favorite betrayal Burlington VT. mayoral election that we all know about happened in 2009. Perhaps it is after that that he became more on the fence with IRV, but he has still supported IRV indirectly by creating our revolution, an organization that aims to elect more Bernie-style candidates to congress, which endorsed maine’s 2016 IRV initiative: https://ourrevolution.com/ballot-initiatives/maine-question-5/

So Bernie Sanders is definitely aware of at least one non-FPTP voting method.


I also found this, which lists his positions on different electoral reform issues.


Considering that Bernie is a big name in this race, we (as in, CES itself) might want to reach out to him or someone on his committee, but I am not sure how to do that without sounding like a PAC.

@ClayShentrup @Aaron_Hamlin @fsargent I want us to contact candidates but have an organization (rather than just a random person) be behind it.


Why’d you increase Sanders’s score but not Yang’s?


Because I missed the post.


Honestly I think Pete Buttigieg would be a much more approachable target. He’s specifically said we should repeal the electoral college, and he’s proposed expanding the Supreme Court to 15 members. He seems to appreciate the value of system change to the design of our government. And he’s just starting to become well known, so it’s not like a million people are trying to get his attention. Yet.


Yang’s also just starting to become well-known, and he’s already aware of the issues with plurality. It might be possible to convince him to switch from supporting RCV using arguments that have worked on others (I don’t know of examples for approval or score, but I do know of an RCV chapter that switched to supporting STAR).


[email protected]

This is the only email address I found. Here is my first draft (I did NOT send it yet), feel free to revise.

I did not write a Yang letter because we need a different in-road.

Dear Pete Buttigieg:

Our political system is fundamentally broken. The two-party duopoly, sustained by “spoiler” concerns, is making politicians unaccountable to voters due to fear of electing The Opposite Party and forcing the debates to center on “most electable”, not “best for the district/state/country”.

You have already suggested several reforms like eliminating the awful Electoral College and expanding the Supreme Court. But we need something more. We need a total remodel of our political system, and it starts with the very core: the ballot itself.

There are many ways to reform the ballot but one that stands out is Score Voting, where voters give each candidate, independently, a score from 0 to 10. The candidate with the highest average score wins the election. Because each candidate is evaluated independently, there cannot possibly be spoiler problems.

In fact, if the 2020 presidential election used Score Voting, you would have been able to run along with Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, and all the other Democrats as allies, not enemies. Howard Schulz would not affect the race at all (unless he managed to win). And moderate Republicans would be able to run without hurting Trump’s chances.

But be careful. There are people who support a different reform known as “Ranked Choice Voting” or “RCV”. This one involves ordering the candidates and a complicated series of eliminations to come out with a winner. Supporters argue that RCV elects majority winners, eliminates spoilers, and encourages honest voting. Unfortunately, those claims do not hold up to scrutiny. I will not bore you with details, but if you want more, go here: [Link to a CES page debunking RCV’s big three arguments]. The majority of the voting reform coverage focuses on RCV, but other systems including Score Voting deserve a spot on the stage.

Repairing our broken system will not be easy, but changing the core will ease the process of accomplishing other reforms. It will allow third parties to compete and possibly even win, while ensuring major parties can present multiple candidates, allowing their voters to pick honest politicians of any monetary class, instead of only rich corrupt bribe-takers.


Oh great.

This marks five out of 20, including a frontrunner.

EDIT: According to this Tulsi Gabbard was “looking at” RCV…


Now that I published my blog post, perhaps we can try to sway Tulsi Gabbard (who as per my previous post was “looking at” IRV) onto a cardinal system. Although I still am not sure if the no-IRV post is structured well to appeal to people running for president.

(I sent emails to four candidates who I thought were not pro-IRV yet, and I did not mention IRV at all, but they were all late in a week and I have no idea what has come out of it.)

EDIT: The first debate is June 26-27 and with five pro-IRV candidates it is almost certain that at least one of the Dems will spew pro-IRV propaganda!