Menu

Bringing Back Fusion Voting

Jump to

Overview

Our rigid two-party system frames political conflict as an us-versus-them, good-versus-evil, existential fight for the soul of the country. In New Jersey and other states, anti-democratic extremism and polarization are rapidly accelerating. Fusion voting is the off-ramp we need to break this cycle.

Fusion allows multiple political parties to nominate the same candidate on the ballot. With fusion, a centrist minor party can cross-endorse the Democratic or Republican candidate demonstrating a stronger commitment to democracy and the rule of law. This would allow voters, parties, and candidates to put aside differences in order to form the cross-partisan, pro-democracy coalitions needed to stem the rising authoritarian threat.

Voting on the minor party line gives voters a permission slip to vote across partisan lines without sacrificing their partisan identity: they can support the candidate who shares their values without having to support the major party itself. This is a powerful tool. When fusion was legal nationwide throughout the 1800s, minor parties thrived and often played a decisive role in local, state, and federal elections.

Protect Democracy is representing individual New Jersey voters in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of New Jersey’s statutory prohibition on fusion voting. Our clients are among a broad coalition of liberal, conservative, and centrist voters fighting to bring fusion back to the Garden State.

“Spiraling polarization and extremism are pushing our democracy to the brink. To walk our politics back from the edge, we must empower voters and enable broad, pro-democracy coalitions. Ending New Jersey’s ban on fusion voting, which is what the New Jersey constitution requires, is a crucial first step,” says Beau Tremitiere, counsel at Protect Democracy.

Help Protect Democracy

History has shown that the best way to protect democracy is by standing united in its defense. Donate to help us to scale up our efforts to educate, advocate, organize, and litigate on behalf of the values we all hold dear.

Donate

Be an informed American.

An engaged and informed public is at the heart of American democracy. Sign up to receive updates that will keep us all informed about the threats we face and how we can fight to protect our democracy together.