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Politics

These ballot measures will shape voting rights—and whether elections are fair—for years to come


Gerrymandering and Redistricting Reform

Missouri, New Jersey, and Virginia are all voting on measures that affect redistricting. In Missouri, Republicans placed a misleading amendment on the ballot that would effectively gut a reform that voters overwhelmingly passed in 2018 to make legislative redistricting fairer, trying to trick voters into repealing the reform by attaching token ethics reforms.

In New Jersey, Democrats have put an amendment on the ballot to delay legislative redistricting until the 2023 elections if the release of census data is delayed. The move is intended to protect incumbents from having to run in new districts for an extra two years to the detriment of New Jersey’s growing Asian and Latino populations, whose rightful share of representation would be delayed if the amendment passes.

In an extremely unusual move in Virginia, the state’s Democratic legislature allowed an amendment to pass with GOP support that would see Democrats surrender their own power to gerrymander and instead create a bipartisan commission appointed half by legislators from both parties and the other half chosen by retired judges. This reform was a compromise with Republican legislators and includes some flaws, but on the whole it should lead to relatively nonpartisan districts for Congress and the state legislature after 2020 if it becomes law.

Electoral System Reform

Efforts to replace the existing electoral system with something that more faithfully implements voters’ preferences are on the ballot in several jurisdictions. These measures take aim at the existing system of plurality-winner elections that can see a third candidate play “spoiler” and cost the runner-up a victory. They all aim to ensure majority rule, but not all may end up having a positive effect.

In Alaska and Massachusetts, voters could adopt variants of instant-runoff voting (also known as ranked-choice voting) in congressional and state elections. This system, which Maine adopted in 2016 and expanded in 2019, lets voters rank their preferences and sequentially eliminates the last-place finisher by reassigning their votes to each voter’s subsequent preference until one candidate attains a majority. Such systems cut down on the spoiler problem and help to protect majority rule. Alaska’s measure would use a variant where the top four finishers in an all-party primary would advance to an instant-runoff general election. (It would use a regular instant-runoff for the presidency.)

A more novel reform to plurality-winner elections is going before voters in St. Louis, Missouri. This approach would adopt a variation of so-called “approval voting,” letting voters cast up to one vote for each candidate and having whichever two candidates receive the most votes in the first round advance to the general election. This system aims to avoid some of the complications of instant-runoff voting but is largely untested in real elections, unlike instant-runoff voting, which has a long history both domestically at the local level and abroad.

A Florida initiative that would implement a top two “primary” for state-level elections could have disastrous effects for partisan fairness and Black and Latino representation. This system is in use in California and Washington and has seen major parties get shut out of winnable general elections solely because their vote was split between too many candidates in the primary. It could also make it much harder for Black voters especially to elect their chosen candidates and is facing a lawsuit that could invalidate it for that reason.

Finally, Mississippi’s GOP-led legislature, in the face of a lawsuit, has placed an amendment on the ballot to repeal part of its 1890 Jim Crow constitution that created an Electoral College-esque system for determining the winner in elections for governor and other statewide executive offices. This system has been further strained by GOP gerrymandering, such that it would be impossible for Democrats and the Black voters who support them to ever win statewide. This reform would require majority support to avoid a runoff, a method that is not ideal but is nevertheless fairer than the status quo.

Restrictions on the Ballot Initiative Process

Republicans across the country have gerrymandered their maps and passed widespread restrictions on voting, leaving direct democracy as a critical tool for fighting back against these efforts to entrench GOP minority rule. Republicans have responded by trying to restrict the initiative process to preserve their power and have advanced measures in Arkansas, Florida, and North Dakota that would make it harder for reformers to place new measures of their own on the ballot in the future.

Bans on Noncitizen Voting

Republicans in Alabama, Colorado, and Florida are supporting amendments that would rewrite their constitutions to emphasize that only citizens may vote. While these measures would have no effect on the status quo, they would prevent local governments from experimenting with letting legal permanent residents who lack citizenship still vote in local elections, something a handful of small localities in the U.S. and many European democracies already allow.

Efforts to Lower the Voting Age

Lowering the voting age to 16 is an idea that has quietly grown in popularity in recent years. A handful of small localities already allow the practice in local elections, and a majority of the House Democratic caucus voted in favor of doing so federally last year. A number of foreign democracies such as Austria and Brazil already allow 16-year-olds to vote, and San Francisco could become the first major city in America to lower the voting age to 16 in local elections. Just to the east, the city of Oakland could lower the voting age for school board elections, and all of California could join a growing number of states letting 17-year-olds vote in primaries if they’ll turn 18 by the general election.

Other Measures

Puerto Rico will once again vote on whether to become a state, and while the measure is not legally binding, it could spur Congress to act on passing an admission bill if Democrats retake the Senate and eliminate the filibuster. Statehood would mean that more than 3 million American citizens would gain representation in the House and Senate. It would also modestly mitigate the upper chamber’s bias against voters of color and potentially lessen its partisan bias toward the GOP, too.

The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, which would assign a state’s votes in the Electoral College to the national popular vote winner if states with a majority of electoral votes sign on, has gained steam since Trump’s election in 2016 and saw Colorado become the first swing state to join in 2019. However, Colorado Republicans have fought back by putting an initiative on the ballot to repeal the law joining the compact. The outcome of the vote could encourage Democrats in other swing states to follow Colorado’s lead, or deter them.

While nearly every state constitution protects the right to vote in some form, Nevada could go even further by enshrining the right to vote in its constitution using modernized language to protect certain methods of voting access. California, meanwhile, could expand voting rights to tens of thousands of citizens on parole for a felony conviction, joining 18 other states that don’t disenfranchise anyone not in prison.

Finally, Oregon is one of the last states that allows individuals to donate unlimited sums of money directly to candidates in state elections, but that may soon change. A state Supreme Court ruling earlier this year overturned a precedent that had barred limits on campaign contributions, and now Democrats have placed an amendment on the ballot to codify lawmakers’ ability to regulate campaign donations and ensure that the existence of such limits and disclosure requirements isn’t dependent upon the ever-changing composition of the courts.

Below you can find a table summarizing all 24 ballot measures we’re tracking, and you can find a spreadsheet version of it here.

JurisdictionTitleSubjectImpact on Fair ElectionsDescription
AlabamaAmendment 1Noncitizen votingNegativeBans noncitizens from voting in local elections by requiring citizenship for voting
AlaskaMeasure 2Electoral system reformPositive or NeutralAdopts a top-four primary with instant-runoff general election; adds campaign finance disclosure requirements
ArkansasIssue 3Ballot initiative processNegativeTightens geographic distribution restrictions for ballot initiative signature requirements in order to make liberal-supported initiatives harder
ArkansasIssue 2Term limitsNeutralLoosens lifetime term limits for legislators
CaliforniaProposition 18Voting agePositiveLets 17-year-olds vote in primaries if they turn 18 by the general election
CaliforniaProposition 17Felony disenfranchisementPositiveEliminates disenfranchisement of voters on parole for a felony conviction
ColoradoAmendment 76Noncitizen votingNegativeBans noncitizens from voting in local elections by requiring citizenship for voting
ColoradoProposition 113Electoral CollegeNegativeReferendum to repeal law joining the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact for the Electoral College
FloridaAmendment 4Ballot initiative processNegativeRequires ballot initiatives to win (at least 60%) voter support in two consecutive general elections instead of one
FloridaAmendment 3Electoral system reformNegativeAdopts a top-two primary (aka two-round system) in state-level races
FloridaAmendment 1Noncitizen votingNegativeBans noncitizens from voting in local elections by requiring citizenship for voting
IowaConstitutional ConventionConstitutional conventionNeutralDecides whether to call a state constitutional convention
MassachusettsQuestion 2Electoral system reformPositiveAdopts instant-runoff voting (aka ranked-choice) in congressional, state, and countywide elections
MississippiMeasure 2Electoral system reformPositiveRepeals Jim Crow-era “electoral college” law in statewide elections and replaces it with provision for a separate runoff election if no candidate wins a majority
MissouriAmendment 3Legislative redistrictingNegativeEffectively repeals a voter-approved 2018 ballot measure that made legislative redistricting treat both parties more fairly
MissouriAmendment 1Term limitsNeutralSets a two-term limit for statewide executive offices below the governorship, which is already subject to that limit
NevadaQuestion 4Right to votePositiveGuarantees the right to vote via certain methods
New JerseyQuestion 3Legislative redistrictingNegativePostpones 2021 legislative redistricting until the 2023 election cycle if census data release is delayed to after Feb. 15, 2021
North DakotaMeasure 2Ballot initiative processNegativeRequires a ballot initiative to win voter support in two consecutive general elections instead of one if the legislature doesn’t approve it
OregonMeasure 107Campaign financePositiveAllows the legislature to set campaign donation limits and disclosure requirements in state and local elections
VirginiaRedistricting Commission AmendmentRedistricting reformPositiveCreates a bipartisan commission to draw congressional and legislative districts
Oakland, CAMeasure QQVoting agePositiveLowers the voting age to 16 in school board election
San Francisco, CAProposition GVoting agePositiveLowers the voting age to 16 in local elections
St. Louis, MOProposition DElectoral system reformPositiveAdopts approval voting primary where the top-two finishers advance to the general election for local elections





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Lifestyle

Megan Tries It: The Routine That Got My Hair Right Back into Shape


Megan Tries It

Megan

Megan O’Neill is the senior beauty editor at goop. Which is another way of saying she has a
passion for clean products, loves anything that reduces stress, and will happily guinea pig herself in the name
of wellness.

When I was a little girl, my curls got so knotted and matted that my mom nicknamed me Thing 1.
(Remember Thing 1 and Thing 2, the mischievous twins from Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat? They had
identical nests of wild blue hair that stood straight up in the air, and they ran around doing cute, naughty things
like flying kites in the house and knocking over furniture. You must Google if you’re unfamiliar.) I was
tender-headed, so much so that even her gentle attempts at brushing through my thicket of tangles made me shriek at
a pitch that made my mom worry about the neighbors and made us chronically late for school (and in her case, late
for work). At one point my mom actually did my hair right there in the classroom, trying to avoid tardiness.

At her wits’ end, my mom remembered a remedy she’d grown up with in Jamaica: She got a bottle of pure
castor oil from the health food store and worked a few sticky drops into my hair before tackling it with a brush.

Instant miracle! The brush eased through, smoothing every burr and snarl it encountered in a single
painless pass. Instead of shrieking, squirming, and kvetching, I even began to look forward to sitting down to get
my hair brushed and braided.

I’m still a fiend for castor oil, and this light one from Kreyol Essence is an order-of-magnitude
improvement over the stuff I grew up with. How many times a week you use it depends on how dry your hair is; mine
guzzles moisture like desert soil. I smooth half a dropperful through my curls every night before bed and wake up
with silky, deeply moisturized, springy, more-defined waves. It prevents tangles from ever forming, and it’s
brilliantly multipurpose—hair moisturizer, hair styler, and nourishing skin care for face and body all in one—for
traveling (can’t wait for that to be a thing again).

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Castor oil is beloved for its rejuvenating, skin-soothing benefits in Haiti and other Caribbean
islands, and this one is smoother and more absorbent than the greasy stuff of my childhood, so it’s better suited
to
work on all hair types, from coarse curls like mine to fine, straight hair. At the same time, it’s still full of
hair- and scalp-nourishing goodness—antioxidants, omegas, vitamin E, and protein.

I also love that the founder, Yve-Car Momperousse (like Yves Saint-Laurent, she jokes), is a
gorgeous Black woman who employs a 90 percent female staff in her native Haiti, where the company farms its
ingredients; has planted roughly 100,000 castor trees, which helps reduce deforestation and soil erosion; and has
helped lower gender-based violence and high unemployment. I’m happy I’m supporting a conscientious brand—and happy
that no one will call me Thing 1 ever again.

Routine: Get Your Hair Back into Shape—Stat

It’s been a looong past few months, and our hair could definitely look nicer.

  1. 1

    Once-a-Week Pink Shampoo-Scrub

    The cloudlike lather is epic, the salt-studded whipped texture is gorgeous, the scent of rosemary and
    geranium is invigorating, and the way it leaves my scalp clean and feeling airy—as if a weight I didn’t know
    was there has been lifted—is just addictive. Make sure your hair is soaking-wet to work up the best lather.
    And bonus points for using it with this wondrously soothing DIY scalp massage.

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    Super Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner

    These look too pretty to work, but they’re incredible. Made with soothing calendula and nourishing
    camellia-seed oil, the shampoo cleanses and moisturizes, while the conditioner leaves my hair soft,
    manageable, and healthy. Hours later, my entire head still smells faintly of sandalwood and bergamot (I always
    want to smell like sandalwood and bergamot).

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    The Best Brush

    I love how wide and luxurious the head is, and how working the boar and nylon bristles through my wet,
    conditioner-doused hair in the shower (truly the best way to detangle curls with the least amount of breakage)
    feels like a massage. On the rare occasions I wear my hair straight, this brush is amazing for sleek, shiny
    ends.

    Philip B. Paddle Brush

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  4. 4

    Magic Quick-Dry Hair Towel

    I can’t imagine washing my hair without this super absorbent hair towel that really cuts down drying time and
    reduces frizz. It wraps around your head in a perfect turban with a button securing it, so you can literally
    have a dance party if you want and the turban won’t unwind. I have a stack of four of them.

    Aquis Lisse Palate Luxe Hair Turban

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    Frizz-Smoothing Curl Cream

    After the turban, when my hair is damp, I smooth in a big blob of this fantastic cream—from roots to ends,
    piling on more at the front where my hair is for some reason thickest—to condition and define my curls as they
    dry, and smooth flyaway edges. I gave a tube to my mom recently, and she, too, is hooked now. She loves how
    shiny and chic it makes her greys look!

    Christophe Robin Luscious Curl Cream with Flaxseed Oil

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    Luscious Curl Cream with Flaxseed Oil
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  6. 6

    The Miracle Oil

    After working in my nightly half dropperful, I twist my hair into five or six haphazard braids all around
    my
    head and pin them into individual little buns with bobby pins (my bed is littered with bobby pins). I wake
    up
    and my hair is crinkly and looks wind-whipped and effortlessly mussed—exactly how I want it. The oil is also
    genius on just-washed damp hair, and it’s the one hair-and-skin thing I bring with me if I’m spending a few
    nights away from home.

    Kreyòl Essence Haitian Black Castor Oil - Light

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Entertaiment

The Secrets of Rebel Wilson’s “Year of Health”: How She Got Into Fighting Shape


But if anyone has the name of a good tailor…

Declaring 2020 to be “The Year of Health” well before any of us realized just getting out of our leggings and sweatshirts would feel ambitious, the 40-year-old—best known as Pitch Perfect‘s Fat Amy—has stuck to her goal of getting down to 75 kilograms (that’s roughly 165 pounds for all the non-metric users) by the end of the year. 

“When I was reaching for the candies last night after dinner I thought to myself “hmmmm…better not” and had a bottle of water instead,” she wrote in an Aug. 28 update, “8kg’s to go until I hit my goal—hopefully I can do it by the end of the year.”

Undoubtedly confident at any size—having once declared she thought gaining weight was the secret to her breaking into comedy—the star, who broke out in the U.S. with 2011’s Bridesmaids, just felt now was the time to key in on her physical health. 

Tracking both her progress (“Closer each day,” she captioned one Lycra-forward snap) and her impressive AF six-day-a-week workouts on Instagram, she’s encouraging her 8 million followers to tackle their personal ambitions right along with her.  

“Even if you have to crawl towards your goals, keep going,” she shared in one May post. “Try and give a little bit of effort each day…I know some days are frustrating as hell, you feel like giving up, you get annoyed at the lack of progress…but good things are coming your way.” 





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Lifestyle

My Morning Routine: How 51-Year-Old Naomi Watts Gets Her Day—and Her Amazing Skin—into Shape


MY MORNING ROUTINE

Naomi Watts

|

actor, producer, mom, and cofounder of ONDA Beauty

Naomi Watts

| actor, producer, mom,

and cofounder of ONDA Beauty

A routine is everything for Naomi Watts. “Nothing is ever regular being an actor, which is why we long for a call sheet,” says the Aussie expat, who lives in New York. “It’s made me into such a list person. I love not having to do all the thinking and planning—give me structure! With two kids, my mornings are normally just a race to get everything done, especially when I’m shooting.”

With acting projects temporarily on hold, she’s still juggling her roles as mom, producer, and cofounder of ONDA Beauty, three clean beauty boutiques (where you can find goop skin care, among other all-stars in the clean world) in New York, Sag Harbor, and Sydney.

Watts first got into clean beauty on set. “Working in front of a camera under hot lights takes an incredible toll on your skin,” she says. “It’s not just the long days; it’s that there’s not just one session in the makeup chair: Makeup is reapplied all day long. It’s a lot of chemical wear and tear on your skin—and my skin started having reactions.” Her friend Larissa Thomson urged her to try clean beauty to soothe her skin into balance. “That change made a huge difference in my skin,” says Watts. “The results were there, plus everything smelled nice…win-win!” She teamed up with Thompson and Sarah Bryden-Brown to create ONDA as a way to “share the mission of clean beauty with our community and the world,” she says. “How we feed our skin shouldn’t be thought of any differently from how we feed our bodies.” Here, how she feeds her skin—as well as her body—most mornings.

Naomi Watts

6:45 a.m.: I’m definitely a morning person. I always wake up before my alarm goes off, unless I’ve had a bad night of sleep, which doesn’t happen too often but can if I’m traveling or anxious. I’ve been using a Lord Jones [CBD] tincture along with the de Mamiel Sleep Series to help. 

7 a.m.: I spend ten minutes looking at my phone, checking emails and texts that may have come through from Australia or the UK. If there’s nothing pressing, I might switch over to the news, a Scrabble game, or Instagram. Then I need coffee. If I’m on top of things, I’ve prepared it the night before and just have to hit the “go” button. I never used to like filtered coffee. If you’ve lived in Australia, you’re quite snobby about your coffee, but it’s fair to say that not only have I switched over to drip—I’m on about two to three cups before I’m satisfied! I’m not that hungry first thing in the morning and usually eat a bit later, after I’ve exercised.

8 a.m.: I walk the dog, feed the bunny, make sure the kids are up, and start a list of everything that has to get done, like watering the plants in the garden. It’s quite meditative spending time out there. My mum always said that after fifty, it’s the place you most love to be. I’ll often listen to a podcast at the same time.

9 a.m.: Once I have the kids out the door (or in these shelter-in-place times, have them started on school), I join a streaming class. I love Taryn Toomey’s The Class. It’s such a good way to start the day—to move your body, as well as examine your thought patterns. It’s a real release. I also just discovered Isaac Calpito’s live Instagram workout (@isaacboots). He is hilarious and just the levity we need right now, but it’s also a really hard workout.

10 a.m.: I love the goop Microderm Exfoliator—I use it a couple of times a week before getting into a steaming-hot shower. It gives my skin this super glowy effect.

10:15 a.m.: In the shower, I love the G.Tox Himalayan Salt Scalp Scrub Shampoo—it’s so foamy and hydrating, and my hair always feels extra shiny afterward. On mornings I don’t use the Microderm, I wash my face with a light cleanser, like the Baobab Clay Oxygenating one from African Botanics, which purifies and moisturizes at the same time.

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10:35 a.m.: When I’m out of the shower, I do my skin prep. Depending on what’s on the agenda that day, I like to give myself a break from makeup, because I have to use it so much for work. Letting my skin breathe is so important, and the same goes with hair. Less is more. I always start with a face mist, then apply a face oil—Vintner’s Daughter or the one from Saint Jane. I often mix the oil into a moisturizer, like Barbara Sturm’s Face Cream Rich. Most days, I leave it at that. If I’m going somewhere, I use Beautycounter’s Dew Skin, which has SPF and leaves my skin dewy and full of life; RMS concealer; and Beautycounter lipstick in Orchid, which is the perfect day-to-night shade for me. 

  1. RMS Beauty “Un” Cover-Up, goop

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  3. Vintner’s Daughter Active Botanical Serum

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11 a.m.: I’m usually starving by 11 a.m. I might make a green smoothie and add the Glow Powder from The Beauty Chef and have a big glass of water with a dash of their Hydration or Collagen Boost. I drink lots of water—it’s instant glowing skin. I might have a boiled egg, yogurt, or avocado toast, depending on how hungry I am.

11:30 a.m.: I meditate, if there’s time. Creating a clear intention is so much easier after meditating, and it’s such a good way to start the day.

  1. goop Picks:

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  3. Beautycounter Sheer Lipstick

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Celebrity Entertaiment

‘I’m in the Best Shape of My Life’ Ahead of New Tour


Ally Brooke Feels Like Whole New Woman Ahead New Tour
Ally Brooke. Courtesy Ally Brooke/Instagram

Ready to perform. After crushing it on season 28 of Dancing With the Stars, Ally Brooke felt more ready than ever to take on a 19-stop tour.

“Being on Dancing with the Stars, it obviously was a crazy schedule and I’m up on my feet for hours and hours, literally dancing my heart out. So that helped to transform my body, and I am in the best shape of my life for sure,” Brooke, 26, shared exclusively with Us Weekly while promoting her upcoming Time to Shine Tour. “And I want to be even better. But I’m so thankful to Dancing with the Stars for so many things that it gave me.”

In fact, thanks to the competition — during which the former Fifth Harmony singer lost nearly 10 lbs — she feels better about herself than she ever had before.

“It gave me the confidence that I needed as a dancer and a performer, and I feel like a whole new woman because of that experience,” the “Lips Don’t Lie” singer told Us. That said, the rehearsing and prep work has just begun — and Brooke is ready to work hard to make the tour a spectacle and keep her body in tip-top shape.

Ally Brooke Feels Like Whole New Woman Ahead New Tour
Ally Brooke. Courtesy Ally Brooke/Instagram

“I’m definitely going to be singing while I’m dancing and probably going on a treadmill because I want to sound amazing and also give an incredible performance,” the “No Good” songstress told Us. “I’m also going to start being on more of a workout schedule, so I’m going to get a trainer and really go all in for this. I’m so excited. It’s a big step.”

While people were first introduced to Brooke during her time with Fifth Harmony — the girl group parted ways in March 2018 — she’s ready to show a side of herself that no one has ever seen, even when she made it to the finals on Dancing With the Stars.

“It really is my time to shine, to show people who Ally is on the stage as a performer and entertainer,” the X-Factor alum said. “I can’t wait to make those little footsteps onto the stage and show people what I’ve got for the entire run.”

The Time to Shine Tour 2020 tickets are on sale now.

With reporting by Travis Cronin

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