Other Group

Center for Ballot Freedom

The Center for Ballot Freedom is an organization which advocates for instituting “fusion voting,” a voting system in which candidates may be endorsed by multiple political parties and votes on any “party line” for a candidate are combined to determine the winner. It seeks to reduce the power of the two-party system and establish a multi-party system in the United States. The Center’s board consists of seven members, including Miles Taylor, the co-founder of the Renew America Movement and former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) employee who anonymously wrote a guest essay in the New York Times in 2018 criticizing then-President Donald Trump’s leadership.

About

The Center for Ballot Freedom aims to move the American political system away from a two-party system. The Center is focused primarily on widening the use of “fusion voting,” in which two or more political parties on a ballot may list the same candidate. Center for Ballot Freedom argues that fusion voting will give minor political parties a chance to gain public support and for larger political parties to heed a third party’s platform. [1]

The Center has argued that “re-legalizing fusion is a potent and achievable way to reduce hyper-partisan polarization in America” and that the reemergence of fusion voting might result in the formation of a more moderate political party, more coalitions, and a better voter experience. [2]

Funding

In summer 2022, the Center for Ballot Freedom received a $10 million grant from the Stronger Democracy Award. [3] The Stronger Democracy Award is a $22 million grant competition allegedly working to advance reforms in civic engagement and policymaking, as well as voting and elections. [4] The Stronger Democracy Award is sponsored by Additional Ventures, [5] a donor-advised fund housed at the left-of-center Silicon Valley Community Foundation; [6] the Patchwork Collective, a philanthropy focused on health, social, and climate issues; [7] and philanthropists Cipora and Vlado Herman, former vice-president of Facebook and former chief financial officer of Yelp, respectively. [8]

Leadership

As of August 2022, the Center’s board consists of seven members. [9] Board members include the left-of-center Leadership Now Project’s CEO Daniella Ballou-Aares, who served in the Obama administration in the U.S. State Department, [10] and Renew America Movement co-founder Miles Taylor, who previously served in the Department of Homeland Security and in 2018, anonymously wrote a guest essay in the New York Times criticizing then-President Donald Trump’s leadership. [11]

Former Mayor of East Amwell Township, New Jersey, Rick Wolfe (R), the lead plaintiff in a fusion voting lawsuit, is also a board member. [12]

References

  1. Center for Ballot Freedom, July 19, 2022. https://centerforballotfreedom.org/. ^
  2. “About the Center.” Center for Ballot Freedom, July 14, 2022. https://centerforballotfreedom.org/about/. ^
  3. “Ballot Freedom Project: Building A Movement for Multiparty Democracy in America.” Stronger Democracy Award – Master. Accessed July 23, 2022. https://www.strongerdemocracyaward.org/winners/the-center-for-ballot-freedom. ^
  4. “Stronger Democracy Award Grants $22 Million to Three Organizations.” ICONIQ. Accessed July 23, 2022. https://www.iconiqcapital.com/impact/stronger-democracy-award-grants-22-million-to-three-organizations. ^
  5. “Stronger Democracy Award Grants $22 Million to Three Organizations.” ICONIQ. Accessed July 23, 2022. https://www.iconiqcapital.com/impact/stronger-democracy-award-grants-22-million-to-three-organizations. ^
  6. “About Us.” Additional Ventures, August 4, 2022. https://www.additionalventures.org/about-us/. ^
  7. The Patchwork Collective. Accessed August 4, 2022. https://www.thepatchworkcollective.org/#areas. ^
  8. Houston, Michael. “Los Angeles 2028 Appoint Former Facebook Executive as New Chief of Finance.” Los Angeles 2028 appoint former Facebook executive as new chief of finance, January 22, 2021. https://www.insidethegames.biz/articles/1103287/los-angeles-2028-olympic-herman. ^
  9. [1] “About the Center.” Center for Ballot Freedom, July 14, 2022. https://centerforballotfreedom.org/about/. ^
  10. “Daniella Ballou-Aares.” Dalberg, April 13, 2021. https://dalberg.com/who-we-are/our-leadership/daniella-ballou-aares/. ^
  11. [1]Taylor, Miles. “I Am Part of the Resistance inside the Trump Administration.” The New York Times. The New York Times, September 5, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/05/opinion/trump-white-house-anonymous-resistance.html. ^
  12. “About the Center.” Center for Ballot Freedom, July 14, 2022. https://centerforballotfreedom.org/about/. ^
  See an error? Let us know!