Beto for America
Wednesday, June 5, 2019


New proposal would expand the universe of registered voters by at least 50 million and set an ambitious national target of 65% voter turnout by ensuring every American has access to the ballot box and every vote counts

ATLANTA, GEORGIA — Beto O’Rourke unveiled a far-reaching plan today to expand voting rights and finally realize the full potential of our democracy, pledging to register more than 50 million voters and ensure that 35 million additional votes are cast in 2024. The proposal would deliver on this ambitious national target by raising voter turnout to a historic 65%. O’Rourke’s plan addresses persistent structural injustices in our democracy and electoral system that dissuade voters from showing up, prevent every voice from being heard, and keep every vote from being counted. The plan also includes a number of reforms to get big money out of politics, enhance the security and integrity of the ballot box, and bring greater accountability and transparency to our electoral system and the federal government.

The full plan—available online here—is built around a three-part framework:
  1. Increasing participation in our democracy by growing the ranks of eligible, registered voters through automatic and same-day voter registration and inspiring a new generation of Americans to run for office.
  2. Removing barriers within our democracy so that it is easier for everyone to make their voices heard by establishing a National Voting Day holiday, extending early voting, expanding vote-by-mail, strengthening the Voting Rights Act, and redirecting resources at the Department of Justice towards robust, aggressive protection of voting rights, including cracking down on draconian voter identification laws and preventing politically-motivated state officials from purging voter rolls.
  3. Rebuilding confidence in our democracy by aggressively confronting interference in our elections, enacting legislation to establish independent redistricting commissions to tackle gerrymandering, banning PAC contributions, and ending the revolving door between government service and federal lobbying so that every American has faith our electoral process represents their interests—not those of corporations, special interests, or foreign powers.
O'Rourke will highlight his new plan tonight during a NowThis town hall in Atlanta that will be held in partnership with the New Georgia Project Action Fund.

“We’re facing some of the greatest challenges of our lifetimes, and we can’t solve them with half-measures or only half our people—it’s going to take all of us,” said O’Rourke. “The only way to make progress is if every single American is empowered to vote—and those who have historically been drawn out of our democracy are able to make their voices heard so that this country can live up to its full promise and potential.”

O’Rourke has been a relentless leader in the fight to reconnect people with their democracy. As a member of Congress, he fought to give independent state redistricting commissions the power to address and correct badly gerrymandered districts across the country. He also pushed to get corporate and foreign influence out of politics by introducing the No PAC Act—a bill that would prohibit federal candidates from taking PAC money or establishing Leadership PACs—while also cosponsoring multiple resolutions to help modernize voter registration, reverse the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United, and close loopholes that allow foreign companies to contribute to U.S. campaigns. While in Congress, O’Rourke was the co-chair of the Term Limits Caucus and helped to introduce legislation that would set term limits for members of the House and Senate.

Increasing voter turnout has been a priority for O'Rourke ever since his time on the El Paso City Council because he understands that more people engaging in their democracy is the only way to address the greatest challenges this country faces. Rejecting PAC money for the previous five years, O’Rourke drove up record voter participation during his historic Senate race in Texas by showing up in places that had previously been written off and taken for granted. In a state that ranked dead last in voter turnout, O’Rourke won more votes than any other Democrat in the recent history of the state, more than doubling young voter turnout and winning half a million votes from Texans who also voted for Republican Governor, Greg Abbott.
The full plan can be found at: www.betoorourke.com/votingrights. 
A PDF version of the plan can be found here.