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Dr. Ryan Hassan: Voting in this country is more difficult, and less effective than in almost every other developed democracy in the world

Dr. Ryan HassanDid you know that Americans don't have a legally recognized right to vote? In fact, voting in this country is more difficult and less effective than in almost every other developed democracy in the world. We must change this. Here's how:

• Restore the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which the Supreme Court crippled in June 2013, in a 5-4 decision that has allowed multiple states to pass voter discrimination laws that have disenfranchised millions of Americans.

• Immediately end gerrymandering, and fairly redistrict all of our states following the 2020 U.S. Census results. Voters should choose their representatives; not the other way around.

• Use the national popular vote to elect the president, so that every vote counts, and politicians campaign in all 50 states, rather than just a dozen. The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, of which Oregon already is a member, would do just that. Visit nationalpopularvote.com to learn more.

• Institute automatic voter registration and automatic mail-in voting nationwide, like we've done successfully in Oregon for years. Turn Election Day into election week, and make voting mandatory.

• Implement STAR voting: Score Then Automatic Runoff. This method is simple, honest, equal and accurate, and allows voters to vote their conscience without wasting their vote. Learn more about STAR voting at starvoting.us.

• Pass the American Anti-Corruption Act, ending legal corruption through rulings like Citizens United and donations from Super PACs, and create limits on campaign spending.

• Expand the courts. We need to balance the Supreme Court with justices who will support the above reforms, and we need to expand our federal courts to deal with increasingly overwhelming caseloads fairly and legally.

We must demand that our legislators pass these critical election reforms so that we can finally fulfill our nation's promise of a government of and for the people.

Clackamas County resident Dr. Ryan Hassan is a pediatrician practicing in Happy Valley.


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