Miles Rapoport & Cecily Hines

Miles Rapoport is a longtime democracy advocate who served as secretary of state in Connecticut, and president of both Dēmos and Common Cause. He is the Senior Practice Fellow in American Democracy at the Ash Center of the Kennedy School at Harvard and a member of the board of The American Prospect.

Cecily Hines is senior program coordinator of the fellowship. 

Recent Articles

A New Playing Field for Democracy Reform

To win substantive reforms, our system is overdue for structural reforms. 2018 creates an opening. 

This article appears in the Winter 2019 issue of The American Prospect magazine. Subscribe here . So, it looks like Fixing Our Democracy is officially Cool. Nancy Pelosi and the House Democrats have announced that their first bill out of the box—H.R. 1—will be an omnibus democracy reform bill including voting rights, partisan gerrymandering, campaign-finance reform, and ethics reform. For many people who have worked on these issues for years, this is a significant moment. Of course, there is the Senate, and the president, so no one thinks H.R. 1 will become law in anything close to its original form. But the message is major: that putting democracy reform front and center is not just “good government”; it is good politics. But if you want to see where democracy reform was Really Cool in 2018, let’s take a look at what happened in the states, and how the stage has been set for even further reforms. The New Landscape Perhaps the most amazing thing about the...

The Good News from the Voting Wars

How hard-won expansion of voting possibilities could raise turnout, boost the wave—and help our democracy

This article appears in the Fall 2018 issue of The American Prospect. Subscribe here . The 2018 midterm election is often depicted as a contest between crude voter suppression by Republican state governments and a national blue-wave mobilization of grassroots Democrats. But the story is actually more complicated and even more hopeful. In addition to the party organizing this year, a two-decade nonpartisan movement to expand access to the ballot is also bearing fruit across the country. The result could be a dramatic expansion of voting participation that swamps suppression efforts, enhances voter-mobilization efforts, and shatters the usual low expectations of off-year voting turnout. The attempt at voter suppression, of course, is real. It is a dark part of the playbook that some—though by no means all—states under Republican control have promoted to retain their power. After the Tea Party wave of 2010, the most recent chapter in longstanding efforts to restrict the vote...