How To Vote For The Forward Party In 2022
Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...
A guide for those interested in supporting America’s fastest-rising party in the 2022 midterms. Union ForwardRead More
Twelve months after its founding, the ascendant Forward Party is making a bid to strengthen the political voice of America’s independent silent majority with the 2022 midterm elections.
United States presidents from Calvin Coolidge to Donald Trump have invoked the term ‘silent majority’ in efforts to portray themselves as champions of the people whose voices are too often unheard by the ruling class.
In 2022, the silent majority is hiding in plain sight, and it is not partisan. 43 percent of Americans are independent, yet there is no independent caucus in Congress. 62 percent believe a third party is needed, yet the two legacy parties prevent anyone other than themselves from fairly competing. The silent majority is the independents of America who are politically silent because they have no representation in government.
This inconsistency in representation has not gone unnoticed. Since summer 2022, political groups that worked independently towards non-partisan reforms for years have coalesced into a rising new party. A constellation of voting reform groups and fellow third parties are now aligned with the national Forward Party alliance.
This November 8, non-partisan reforms and candidates are on the ballot which promise to erode the tribalism that defines 21st-century American politics.
A push for non-partisanship is rising across the country, and Forwardists hope to seize this momentum to bring an end to the two-party system in the coming years. Andrew Yang, the new party’s co-chair, believes the U.S. should have five or six national parties.
The Forward Party endorsed a total of 27 local, state, and federal candidates in the 2022 elections across 14 states in the hopes of laying the groundwork for more ambitious initiatives in future elections—including the goal of eventually electing and recruiting 5,000 local officials by 2024. Furthermore, ranked-choice voting (RCV) and non-partisan primaries (NPP) will be on the ballot in Nevada for voters to approve or reject.
Forwardists in states where the party has not made endorsements can look to the party’s principles for guidance. When casting a ballot in the midterm elections this year, Forwardists should question which candidates broadly embody the party’s three core principles: free people, thriving communities, and vibrant democracy. Candidates who support RCV and NPP are likely to be supportive of party pluralism.
I. Ranked-choice Voting and Non-partisan Primaries in Nevada
In Nevada, ballot question 3 will ask voters whether to approve or reject ranked-choice voting and non-partisan primaries for statewide use, two reforms that are at the heart of the Forward Party’s goals.
Nevada Voters First sponsored the ballot referendum and runs the ‘Yes on 3’ campaign that is promoting the measure to voters in the state. The group raised $17 million for the initiative in the third quarter of the year, more than any candidate in Nevada during that quarter.
RCV and NPP are proposals to reform the underlying voting system and allow new parties to compete on a level playing field. The silent majority of independents cannot be represented by just one party, the same way that 330 million Americans cannot be represented by just two parties.
These reforms expand electoral choice and give voters the freedom to support candidates they are enthusiastic about rather than feeling forced to strategically vote for the lesser of two evils. Implementing a ranked voting system eliminates the ‘spoiler effect’ since voters can rank a Forwardist, a Libertarian, or a Green candidate first and be assured that if their first choice loses, their second choice vote will still be counted.
Alaska and Maine have both passed RCV since 2016, and the change has appeared to promote a friendly environment for non-partisans. Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski and Democratic Representative Mary Peltola—elected this summer in a high-profile special election that used RCV for the first time in Alaska’s history—bucked their parties to endorse each other’s re-election campaigns.
Should the number of states implementing RCV continue to grow, the window for new parties to launch and win elections will also continue to grow.
A ‘yes’ vote on ballot question 3 in Nevada is a vote for electoral choice and non-partisanship, and the measure’s approval would represent a tremendous victory for the Forward Party coalition.
II. Evan McMullin’s Independent Senate Campaign in Utah
Empowering the independent silent majority with fair representation and reducing the effects of corrosive partisanship go hand-in-hand.
In today’s polarized national environment, just a handful of independent or third party officials in D.C. could deny either major party the power to pass legislation along party lines. Leaders of a major party governing with only a plurality of seats would have no choice but to forge a deal with either the new coalition or the other major party.
A third coalition in D.C. would dampen the flames of polarization by greatly reducing party-line legislation. One party could still win majority status in Congress, though RCV and NPP raise the bar for a party to do so since voters are freed to choose between multiple parties instead of just two viable ones.
This November, independent Evan McMullin is challenging incumbent Republican Senator Mike Lee in Utah. The state Democratic Party declined to nominate a candidate of their own, clearing the way for McMullin, a former Republican and former CIA officer, to launch a viable bid to unseat Lee. He is endorsed by the Forward Party, and he does not plan to caucus with either major party in office.
McMullin’s campaign is to be a test of something new in modern American politics. At a time of record-high support for the rise of a third party, a victory for McMullin could prompt more candidates to seek a lane outside of the two legacy parties in 2024. Major parties may see an advantage to letting independent or minor party candidates take the lead in states they know they cannot win themselves.
A vote for McMullin is a vote for independent political power in Washington, D.C. His victory would contribute significant momentum to the Union’s emergent third political coalition.
III. Governor Ned Lamont’s Pledge to Pass Ranked-choice Voting in Connecticut
The Forward Party expanded into Connecticut by partnering with a minor state party called the Griebel-Frank for CT Party whose endorsement was sought after by both the incumbent Democratic governor and his Republican challenger in 2022.
The party was launched in 2018 as a vehicle for Oz Griebel and Monte Frank to run an independent campaign for governor and lieutenant governor. Sadly, Griebel passed away eight days after being hit by a car in July 2020. Four years after the pair’s effort to provide a third, non-partisan choice for Connecticut’s leadership, more than 50,000 voters in the state remain affiliated with the minor party. The group has shifted its resources towards promoting voting reforms including RCV, and it became a part of the national Forward Party alliance in 2022.
Following Governor Ned Lamont’s pledge to pass RCV statewide in 2023, the minor party endorsed his bid for a second term. On the ballot, Lamont’s name will appear on both the Democratic Party line and the Griebel-Frank Party line. A vote for the Griebel-Frank Party is specifically a vote for his pledge to pass RCV next year, while a vote for either party line is a vote for Lamont.
The governor has advocated for RCV as part of a larger voting reform initiative which includes no-excuse absentee voting. Although voting for the Griebel-Frank Party line does not require the governor to act, it indicates to the governor how many Connecticut voters care to see him uphold his pledge.
A vote for the third Griebel-Frank Party line for governor is a vote for RCV to be passed and implemented statewide in 2023.
IV. State and Local Forward Party-endorsed Candidates
The 2022 midterm elections have 27 candidates across 14 states who are endorsed by the Forward Party.
The party’s full endorsement list can be found on their website. Casting a ballot for any of these candidates throws your support behind someone that a majority of Forwardists voted for with the party’s pluralistic, non-partisan interests at heart.
Endorsements include four candidates for local offices, eleven candidates for state-level offices, and twelve candidates for national offices. In order to find candidates whose values align with those of Forwardists, the party first collected recommendations for endorsements from supporters across the country, then held a ranked-choice vote to select members of a volunteer group that would vet and choose candidates by consensus.
U.S. Senate endorsements include Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski, Arizona Democrat Mark Kelly and McMullin. One of just seven GOP senators who voted to convict President Trump in January 2021, Murkowski held an approval rating of 6 percent among Alaska Republicans five months after her impeachment vote. If Alaska had not implemented RCV and NPP, the senator would have struggled to win a GOP primary. Instead, she is favored to win re-election with the support of an ideologically diverse coalition.
Among the party’s nine endorsements for U.S. House is January Walker of the United Utah Party, a blockchain advocate who argued for an end to the two-party system during an October debate that was fittingly skipped by her Republican opponent. Reverend Wendy Hamilton, endorsed by the party for ANC Commissioner in D.C., worked with Yang’s 2020 presidential campaign and advocates for D.C. statehood in pursuit of better representation for citizens of the capital city.
Each of these candidates embrace the principles of pluralism and electoral choice for the American people. A victory for any of them would provide a meaningful early foothold for the Forward Party in pockets of U.S. politics.
The world’s most powerful democracy should reflect its size and scope in its representation. The values and ideas of 330 million people cannot be condensed into two neat boxes. A study conducted by Pew Research Center in 2021 identified nine distinct political coalitions ranging from “faith and flag conservatives,” the “stressed sideliners” to the “progressive left.” Our party representation in government should reflect this substantial diversity of thought.
A system with more than two parties would require major party leaders to cooperate with independents or other parties who are not beholden to the same interests. Cajoling one party into passing legislation over a united opposition could prove to be highly inefficient compared with a balance of power between three or more parties.
RCV and NPP promise an expansion of freedom and choice in American elections that has no clear precedent in our history. Never before have more than two parties held lasting power in U.S. politics, though the unprecedented nature of modern polarization should push Americans to re-examine the founding principles which Revolutionary-era leaders advocated for.
The ideals of non-partisan leadership and party pluralism in government they championed were driven by their fear that parties could fuel factionalism and eventually seek to undermine or destroy the institutions of democracy which had lifted them to power, crystallized in President George Washington’s stark warning against a two-party system in his 1796 farewell address.
Since its launch in fall 2021, the Forward Party has presented a coherent path to unlocking representation for new parties and those who feel unheard by the major parties. The emergence of new coalitions in D.C. would upend the bitter polarization that dominates today’s ruling parties, and it would greatly expand the political power in each voter’s hands.
The Forward Party’s goals go far beyond 2022 and 2024. Their proposed voting reforms are steps which aim to ensure that representative and democratic principles are upheld in the U.S. for the next 50 years. Each early victory, however, grows the momentum of the entire movement.
To the disillusioned silent majority who have abandoned the tribal politics promoted by the legacy parties, the Forward Party offers a new deal for our democracy. The foundations of this new deal are on the ballot in 2022.
Our free and independent work relies on support from readers like you.
Union Forward is not backed by major donors or ad revenue.
We’re backed by patriots who don’t recognize America in the 21st century, by Gen Z students who are distrustful of the society they grew up in, by parents who are concerned with the country they are leaving for their children.
Our work here is 100% funded by readers like you who subscribe and who share our stories with friends, family, and on social media.