Commentary & Analysis

2020: Year in Review

Scrolling through my social media feed this month, I’ve been laughing (and commiserating) at the memes I’ve seen celebrating the end of 2020. (Pictured below is one of my favorites of these memes, featuring a character from The Office.)

It would be an understatement to say that this year put us all through the wringer, and it’s no wonder that folks are looking forward to a fresh start in 2021.

A photo of the character Nate from "The Office" saying, "I've never met 2021 personally... But I'm gonna go ahead and say, just having known you a short while, 2020, that I prefer 2021. And again, I've never even met 2021."

And while I’m not sad to see 2020 go, I’m also feeling incredibly grateful and inspired by all the wonderful things we were able to accomplish together this year.

With the support of people like you, we overcame the difficulties of 2020 and took huge steps toward putting approval voting on the map.

So, I hope you’ll take a moment to look back on this year and reflect on all you helped achieve toward empowering voters with better elections. It couldn’t have been done without you.

Super Tuesday Polling

Images of the candidates from the Super Tuesday primary: Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, Michael Bloomberg, Elizabeth Warren, Tom Steyer, Joe Biden, and Tulsi Gabbard

In February, your support allowed us to conduct a Super Tuesday poll of the Democratic primary candidates. Polling that includes alternative voting methods is critical to empowering more voters with a better way to vote. It sheds a light on the ways that alternative methods, like approval voting, would have an impact on elections.

<< Read the Super Tuesday Poll Summary >>

Because of you, we were able to demonstrate how choose-one voting robs voters of their voice, and robs candidates of an accurate reflection of support. 

Because of you, our poll was picked up by FiveThirtyEight and it brought over 30,000 new visitors to our website. That’s 30,000 people who now know how approval voting could put power back in the hands of the people.

America’s First Approval Voting Election

Bar graph of Fargo, ND city commissioner results. It shows the following percentage: Aboah (16%), Shaffer (17%), Rymph (18%), Krystosek (20%), Grindberg (49%), Preston (53%), and Strand (53%).

Because of you, voters in Fargo had the opportunity to finally vote for all the candidates they approved of this June. And the results were tremendous. 

You helped end the vote-splitting. You helped the winners, John Strand and Arlette Preston see the real support they had in Fargo—greater than 50% in both cases.

That’s incredible because just a few years prior, John won with only 15% support. When we asked John what he thought about the 55% support he received this election, he told us it gave him faith that he was doing what the people of Fargo wanted.

“It tells me I don’t just represent a fraction of Fargo. I represent the whole city. And that means when I go into the commission chambers, I’m able to serve them with confidence.”

<< Read more about how you made history in Fargo >>

Landslide Win in St. Louis

STL Approves Supporters

In November, St. Louis voters decided it was time for change. So they voted to take the history-making step of becoming the second city in the United States to pass approval voting.

An overwhelming majority—68%!—voted to put power back in the hands of voters and to elect leaders who truly represent the will of the people.

And while this effort was led by local St. Louis activists and supported by St. Louis voters, it couldn’t have been done without YOU.

It’s thanks to your support that we were able to grant STL Approves with funds they needed to bring this important reform to their city.

Some of you donated to the cause. Some of you shared information with your friends and family. Others spent hours sending texts to St. Louis voters.

Every campaign is a team effort. And you really stepped up to do your part. 

<< Read more about the big win in St. Louis >>

Putting Approval Voting on the Map

Map of the US with green location drop pins in various cities across the country

Thanks to your support this year, we were able to launch our first-ever request for proposals (RFP) to provide approval voting campaign grants to grassroots advocates.

Broken elections are everywhere and people are hungry for change. But they need funding and support to make it happen.

We received six amazing proposals from advocates all across the country: the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Colorado, Utah, Austin, and Missouri.

Each group made a compelling case for why their community needs approval voting, making it clear that far too many voters are suffering under the results of terrible choose-one elections.

<< Read about the RFP submissions >>

Thanks to you, we’re set up to put approval voting on the map in 2021 and beyond. But your continued support is crucial to making that happen. We’ll be announcing the grant amounts to the RFP applicants in January, and the amount they’ll receive will depend on you.

Can you chip in to help us empower these grassroots advocates? We’ll fund as many grants as your support allows us to.

Make your gift at