Comparing Party Platforms
A close examination of each Party’s most recent Platform (2016) reveals its core beliefs and could provide a powerful indication of how that Party’s nominee will vote.
For your convenience, we have broken the lengthy party platforms into digestible portions based on topic and placed them side-by-side for comparison.
Democratic Party Platform
PROTECT VOTING RIGHTS, FIX OUR CAMPAIGN FINANCE SYSTEM, AND RESTORE OUR DEMOCRACY (p. 22)
Protecting Voting Rights (p. 22)
We must restore the full protections of the Voting Rights Act. We will bring our democracy into the 21st century by expanding early voting and vote-by-mail, implementing universal automatic voter registration and same day voter registration, ending partisan and racial gerrymandering, and making Election Day a national holiday. We will restore voting rights for those who have served their sentences. And we will continue to fight against discriminatory voter identification laws. . .
We support fully funding the Help America Vote Act and will work to. . . end long lines at voting booths and ensuring that all registration materials, voting materials, polling places, and voting machines are truly accessible. . . We will support local, county, and state governments in their efforts to upgrade old voting equipment and machines. . .
. . .We support efforts to defeat ill-motivated voter suppression tactics. We also support Ohio’s proposed Voters Bill of Rights amendment, North Carolina’s Moral Monday movement, and similar initiatives. . .
This section was shortened from 337 to 204 words. For full text, see page 22 of the Full 2016 Democratic Party Platform.
Fixing Our Broken Campaign Finance System (p. 22)
Democrats support a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s decisions in Citizens United and Buckley v. Valeo. We need to end secret, unaccountable money in politics by requiring, through executive order or legislation, significantly more disclosure and transparency—by outside groups, federal contractors, and public corporations to their shareholders. We need to amplify the voices of the American people through a small donor matching public financing system. We need to overhaul and strengthen the Federal Election Commission so that there is real enforcement of campaign finance laws. And we need to fight to eliminate super PACs and outside spending abuses.
Our vision for American democracy is a nation in which all people, regardless of their income, can participate in the political process and can run for office without needing to depend on large contributions from the wealthy and the powerful.
Honoring the People of the Territories (p. 21)
Republican Party Platform
Honest Elections and the Electoral College (p. 16)
Honest Elections and the Right to Vote (p. 16)
. . .Our troops, wherever stationed, must be allowed to vote in a timely manner. . .
. . .we urge our elected representatives to ensure that citizenship, rather than mere residency, be made the basis for the apportionment of representatives among the states.
This section was shortened from 312 to 195 words. For full text, see page 16 of the Full 2016 Republican Party Platform.
Preserving the District of Columbia (p. 30)
Republicans have been in the forefront of combating chronic corruption among the city’s top Democratic officials. We call for congressional action to enforce the spirit of the Home Rule Act, assuring minority representation on the City Council. That council. . . is attempting to seize from the Congress its appropriating power over all funding for the District. The illegality of their action mirrors the unacceptable spike in violent crime and murders. . . We expect Congress to assert. . . its constitutional prerogatives regarding the District.
Since the Supreme Court’s decisions affirming the Second Amendment rights of its citizens, city officials have engaged in a campaign of massive resistance. . . The Republican Congress should be prepared. . . to enact legislation allowing law-abiding Washingtonians to own and carry firearms.
Statehood for the District can be advanced only by a constitutional amendment. Any other approach would be invalid. . . soundly rejected by the states when last proposed in 1976 and should not be revived.
This section was shortened from 273 to 218 words. For full text, see page 30 of the Full 2016 Republican Party Platform.