Recycling part of a post from an earlier thread:
Australia has plenty of problems, but voter suppression and electoral corruption aren’t amongst them. And the structure of our electoral system plays a large role in that.
Note: the methods outlined below are not the only ways to achieve these goals. However, they are methods that are proven to work, and similar strategies are used throughout much of the industrialised world.
Anyway, how we do it down here:
Want to limit the excessive power of the rich? Sensible controls on campaign expenditure and party donations, effective disclosure rules, public funding, non-fixed political terms (e.g. a majority of parliament can call an election whenever they want, but must do so at least once every four years) to keep campaigns short.
Want to stop the disenfranchisement of the poor? Elections on weekends or public holidays, properly resourced voting administration run by an independent federal organisation (e.g. http://www.aec.gov.au/) so that voting is universally achieved, easy postal voting, neutral voter education in schools, automatic voter registration at eighteen.
Want to stop the gerrymander? Election boundaries set by fixed, publicised rules and administered by another independent federal agency.
Want to stop extremists from taking over by controlling turnout through enthusiasm or intimidation? Again, well-resourced neutral voter admin and not-too-racist police. Preferential (instant runoff) voting. Proportional representation rather than local members in at least one house of parliament.
We also use compulsory attendance at the voting booth; $50 fine if you don’t show up to vote without a minimally-plausible excuse, but you’re free to spoil the ballot if you don’t want to vote. This one is unique to Australia, but it seems to provide substantial benefit with minimal downside.
Want to avoid a two-party system? Proportional, preferential voting and public funding of election candidates. In Oz we give moderate public funding based on the proportion of first-preference vote in the previous election. The cash isn’t enough to really matter for the major parties, but it helps keep the minors in the game while they build credibility and support.
None of those things are easy to achieve with the USA in the political state it is today. But that isn’t because democracy is inherently undoable, it’s because the US political system is so badly broken already. And it was broken on purpose, by the people who benefit from its breaking.
Some of these problems have been with the US from the beginning. But there has been an active push over recent history to make them worse; “money equals speech” and “corporations are people” didn’t come from the founding fathers. And the “people who benefit” are still here, still in charge, and forever getting richer from the proceeds.