The United States, it is said, is the world greatest democracy.  However many people will tell you that politics or Washington is broken, caught up in partisan gridlock, and unable to address the challenging problems facing our country.  Myriad ideas have been advanced to improve the functioning of our political processes, and there are groups working on facets of this issue ranging from ballot access and campaign finance to voter turnout and voting systems.

Center for Public Integrity

"nonprofit, nonpartisan, tax-exempt organization that conducts investigative research and reporting on public policy issues in the United States and around the world."

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)

"a non-profit, progressive legal watchdog group dedicated to holding public officials accountable for their actions."

Common Cause

"a nonpartisan nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1970 by John Gardner as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest."

Judicial Watch

"a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law."

OMB Watch

"OMB Watch exists to increase government transparency and accountability; to ensure sound, equitable regulatory and budgetary processes and policies; and to protect and promote active citizen participation in our democracy."

coalition "seeks to advance the public's right to know and reduce secrecy in government"

Partnership for Public Service

"The Partnership for Public Service is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that works to revitalize our federal government by inspiring a new generation to serve and by transforming the way government works."  (succeeded the Council for Excellence in Government)

Public Citizen: Government Reform

"Public Citizen works to empower ordinary citizens, reduce the influence of big corporations on government, open the government to public scrutiny, and hold public officials accountable for their misdeeds."

Project on Government Oversight

"founded in 1981, POGO is an independent nonprofit that investigates and exposes corruption in order to achieve a more accountable federal government."

Sunlight Foundation

"non-profit, nonpartisan organization that uses the power of the Internet to catalyze greater government openness and transparency, and provides new tools and resources for media and citizens, alike."

Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency

"a portal to the Federal Inspector General Community whose primary responsibilities, to the American public, are to detect and prevent fraud, waste, abuse, and violations of law and to promote economy, efficiency and effectiveness in the operations of the Federal Government." +

U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO)

"known as 'the investigative arm of Congress' and 'the congressional watchdog.' GAO supports the Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities and helps improve the performance and accountability of the federal government for the benefit of the American people."

The White House-"Government Reform for Competitiveness and Innovation"

U.S. House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform
U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs

U.S. Department of Justice: Freedom of Information Act
See also Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press: Federal Open Government Guide

U.S. Department of Justice: Public Integrity Section 

United States Office of Government Ethics
U.S. House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct (Ethics Committee)
U.S. Senate Ethics Committee

Cato Institute: Center for Representative Government
Center for American Progress: Open and Accountable Government
White House: Government Reorganization


Americans for Campaign Reform

"...a community of citizens who believe passionately that public funding is the single most critical long-term public policy issue our nation faces. What’s at stake are nothing less than the health of our democracy, the quality of our leadership, and our government’s ability to tackle the serious problems that affect us all: health care, energy policy, education, the environment and the economy."

The Campaign Finance Institute

"conducts objective research and education, empanels task forces and makes recommendations for policy change in the field of campaign finance."

The Campaign Legal Center

"a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization which works in the areas of campaign finance and elections, political communication and government ethics."

The Center for Responsive Politics (

"a non-partisan, non-profit research group based in Washington, D.C. that tracks money in politics, and its effect on elections and public policy."

CQ MoneyLine

"...seeks to facilitate the general public access to information from government and non-government sources on issues of vital relevance to the people. PoliticalMoneyLine also seeks to inform and educate the public about critical issues of accountability, governance, and representation."

Change Congress: Fix Congress First

"Our goal is to restore public trust in our government by passing a hybrid of small-dollar donations and public financing of elections."

Public Campaign

"non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to sweeping reform that aims to dramatically reduce the role of big special interest money in American politics."  Specifically advocates Clean Money Campaign Reform which provides "full public financing for candidates who agree to spending limits and reject private contributions."

Public Citizen: Money in Politics

Sunlight Foundation: Party Time

"a project to track parties for members of Congress or congressional candidates that happen all year round in Washington, D.C. and beyond."

Center for Competitive Politics

"to promote and defend citizens' First Amendment political rights of speech, assembly, and petition. This means opposing so-called reformers' efforts to limit campaign contributions, taxpayer funded political campaigns, the "fairness doctrine" in talk radio and other limits on citizens' ability to support the candidates and causes of their choice."

National Institute on Money in State Politics

"the only nonpartisan, nonprofit organization revealing the influence of campaign money on state-level elections and public policy in all 50 states."

Federal Election Commission

The independent regulatory agency created by Congress in 1975 to enforce the Federal Election Campaign Act.

The Brookings Institution: Governance Studies-Campaign Finance Reform
CATO Institute: Campaign Finance
Campaign Finance Blog (William J. McGinley)

Black Box Voting

nonpartisan, nonprofit, 501c(3) organization...consumer protection group for elections, funded by citizen donations

The Election Center

"a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting, preserving, and improving democracy. Its members are government employees whose profession is to serve in voter registration and elections administration...  also known as the National Association of Election Officials."

Pew Center on the States'

"the nation’s only nonpartisan, non-advocacy information clearinghouse and e-newsletter providing up-to-the-minute news and analysis on election reform."

United States Election Assistance Commission

"EAC is an independent, bipartisan commission charged with developing guidance to meet HAVA requirements, adopting voluntary voting system guidelines, and serving as a national clearinghouse of information on election administration."

Carter-Baker Commission on Federal Election Reform (2005) 



"seeks elections that promote voter turnout, fair representation, inclusive policy and meaningful choices by building on our nation's history of improving upon the American experiment. As a catalyst for electoral reforms such as instant runoff voting, proportional voting, direct election of the president and automatic voter registration, we conduct research, analysis, education and organizing..."

National Popular Vote

"purpose is to study, analyze and educate the public regarding its proposal to implement a nationwide popular election of the President of the United States."

Free and Equal Elections Foundation

"a non-partisan, non-profit public policy advocacy group dedicated to election reform and improving ballot access laws in the United States."

Ballot Access News (Richard Winger)

Election Law Blog (Rick Hasen)


"to nominate a presidential ticket that answers directly to voters—not the political system."

Transpartisan Alliance

"catalyze a shift in the political culture from destructive polarization to a more respectful, responsible and cooperative search for solutions."

No Labels

"overthrow the tyranny of hyper-partisanship that dominates our political culture today."

U.S. Term Limits

"To rally Americans to restore citizen control of government by limiting the terms of politicians at the local, state and congressional levels."

Term Limits for the United States Congress

Tenth Amendment Center

"a national think tank that works to preserve and protect the principles of strictly limited government through information, education, and activism. The center serves as a forum for the study and exploration of state and individual sovereignty issues, focusing primarily on the decentralization of federal government power as required by the Constitution."

The Madison Amendment

"The Madison Amendment gives States the same power as Congress to propose an individual Amendment to the U.S. Constitution."

over the years, various groups have called for a national constitutional convention...
for example:
Change Congress:

Why Tuesday?

"a bipartisan effort to increase voter participation in our electoral process by moving our federal Election Day from the first Tuesday in November to the first Saturday and Sunday of the month."

National Youth Rights Association: Voting Age

a voting age of 16...?

National Initiative for Democracy

"proposal which will permit the People to make or change laws by initiative at all levels of government, including at the federal level."

Many Groups Working on Voter Education and Participation

Democrats, Republicans and Major Third Parties

National Governors' Association
Council of State Governments
National Conference of State Legislatures

National Association of Counties
National League of Cities
U.S. Conference of Mayors
National Association of Regional Councils