Richard H. Pildes

Richard H. Pildes is the Sudler Family Professor of Constitutional Law at New York University and co-author of The Law of Democracy

Recent Articles

How Democrats Should Reform Elections in the States

Some reforms will be easy. The harder steps will be the real test. 

This article appears in the Winter 2019 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . As a result of the 2018 midterm elections, Democrats now have unified control of 14 state governments and the opportunity to carry out reforms of the electoral process. What should they do with these newfound powers? Most electoral reforms have historically taken place at the state level, though the rare measures Congress has taken—the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the 1993 Motor Voter Registration Act, the 2002 Help America Vote Act, and campaign-finance legislation in the 1970s and early 2000s—have had important ramifications. But with a divided federal government for at least the next two years, congressional action is a remote prospect, and the initiative will fall to the states. Among election-law experts, there is a substantial consensus in favor of certain desirable changes. Many of these are also easy lifts for Democrats, who are likely to see these reforms as aligning with...