The National Association of Nonpartisan Reformers opened nominations for Breakthrough Reform Projects from June 2018 to August 24, 2018. The Review Committee received a total of sixty-five submissions from organizations, campaigns, and individuals across the country. The committee is comprised of:

  • Nominations Chair Dan Howle, Independent Voter Project,
  • Rob Richie, FairVote,
  • Mike Kenig, Reform Philanthropist,
  • John Opdyke, Open Primaries,
  • and Jim Jonas, NANR’s Executive Director.

Each submission was reviewed by at least two committee members using the evaluation criteria (below). The evaluations were then discussed among the entire committee. Committee members were prohibited from reviewing or commenting on any proposal in which they participated.

All submissions were then sent to Honorary Co-Chairs Katherine M. Gehl and Michael E. Porter for final review with the committee’s feedback.

We received 65 impressive submissions. Four submissions were selected as finalists and six were selected as honorable mentions. These submissions will be presented at an upcoming meeting between board members and potential funders. Additionally, the board is considering endorsement requests for many of the nominated projects.


The evaluation criteria used by the review committee included the following questions:

  1. Will the project advance NANR principles, as defined in the preamble?
  2. Will the project bring value to the Association and members?
  3. Is the project congruent current with national reform strategy?
  4. Is the project original?
  5. How powerful & achievable is the project?
  6. How well would the project increase political competition?
  7. How well would the project add to and build the reform movement?


Fair Maps (CO)


Support for a nonpartisan citizen redistricting commission initiative on the ballot in November 2018.

Submitted by: Fair Maps Colorado.

Unite America

Independent Candidate Support

Support for twenty-four candidates in Washington, Colorado, and Kansas, for the in November 2018 election.

Submitted by: Unite America.

RCV “Voter Choice” (MA)

Election Reform

Statewide ranked choice voting as legislature in 2019 or on ballot in 2020, building from strong opening work, initial funds, volunteer base and political allies.

Submitted by: Voter Choice Massachusetts.

Catalyst Fund

Election Reform Funding

Create a scalable fund to catalyze funding of state and local groups and campaigns through early matching gift incentives and commitments of fundraising support, focal point will be on projects advancing ranked choice voting and open primaries

Submitted by: FairVote, Independent Voter Project, OpenPrimaries.

Honorable Mentions

The below proposals spotlight the deep reform thinking across the nation, as reflected in the full sixty-five submissions. 

STAR Voting (OR)

Election Reform

The project focuses on an existing campaign in Lane County (OR) in November 2018 to adopt STAR Voting (scoring candidates, followed by an automatic runoff of top two candidates based on relative rating), and possible future STAR voting campaign in Multnomah County (OR).

Submitted by: Equal Vote Coalition.

TheChisel Portal

NANR Infrastructure

The project would develop an online NANR member portal for election reform policy proposals.

Submitted by: TheChisel.

Election Reformers Network


The project builds an information portal for a persuasive case for political philanthropy.

Submitted by: Election Reformers Network.

Legal Fund

Law, Election Reform

Creation of NANR Legal Committee for the purpose of ongoing legal work with initial work on lawsuit to challenge California primary rules.

Submitted by: NANR Board Member.

Draw the Lines


The project creates citizen map drawing campaign in multiple states based on their Pennsylvania success. It is an example of project activity aimed at mobilizing people and promoting change in states without initiative processes.

Submitted by: Committee of Seventy.

Democracy Campaign

Election Reform

Project identifies one-to-three western states to pursue change campaigns for top-four, nonpartisan public primary, nonpartisan presidential primary, ranked choice voting.

Submitted by: FairVote & IVP.

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