TAKE THE PLEDGE
Protect Our Election and its coalition partners sent the below open letter to America's chief election officials on October 20, 2020
An Open Letter to Our Secretaries of State and State Election Directors
To our Secretaries of State and State Election Directors,
We write to you today with one voice, but as a broad coalition of advocacy groups, activists, business leaders, and voters.
Regardless of party or political affiliation, we believe you are singularly equipped to reinforce the nation’s faith in our electoral system this fall. We, as signatories to this letter, place our trust in you as election administrators. We draw strength from our shared democratic tradition, and we know that it is built to withstand the types of challenges we currently face. We know you are working hard to ensure this election will be successful and produce results.
But we also recognize that our democracy is under unprecedented stress. As chief election officials, you have a unique opportunity to guide the narrative by speaking together as one bipartisan whole.
We know that:
Funding to support mail-in-voting, poll worker training, and equipment is sorely lacking;
The COVID-19 pandemic threatens our safety and our turnout numbers;
The Electoral College Safe Harbor deadline of December 8 puts stress on your agencies to conduct a fair and accurate count and resolve legal challenges in a short amount of time;
Disinformation will continue to swirl around this election, featuring baseless claims of voter fraud and exaggerated foreign interference;
Lines may be long, errors may occur, equipment may break down, and emotions will be heightened on Election Day.
We are relying on you, as a group, to navigate these pitfalls in the lead-up to November. Faith in our system is the only thing that keeps democracy afloat. To that end, we ask you to unite in support of the following foundational commitments:
We will present a unified public front by directing our constituents to approved voting information on official state election agency web properties or the NASS website; we will never promote or amplify information from partisan or unverified sources;
We will forcefully refute disinformation by following best practices like assigning a staff member to monitor for relevant incidents, flagging suspicious behavior directly with social platforms, and sharing summary reports where appropriate;
We will affirm that our combined efforts to prevent voter fraud in the United States of America have made it vanishingly rare, and we pledge to speak with one voice to defend our professional reputations from unfounded partisan attacks as they occur;
We will provide regular pre-election public updates on (a) the number of ballots already received via mail-in or early in-person voting processes, and (b) the percentage of mail-in ballots still outstanding;
We will pursue every available option to provide for a safe and secure early and absentee voting experience, including abiding by the US Election Assistance Commission’s best practices on ballot drop box administration and by endorsing the utility of ballot tracking technology;
We will take active steps to prevent political violence, voter intimidation, and illegal polling place activities by coordinating with our local communities, communicating clearly about what our state election laws do and do not allow, and providing regular public updates on the measures in place;
We will endeavor to accelerate post-election legal challenges by moving for expedited hearings at the relevant State Circuit Court and Court of Appeals levels, contesting new evidence introduced after the canvassing period has closed, and advocating for disputes to be resolved in all states no later than December 1;
We will unanimously resist attempts to unlawfully limit or prematurely conclude the counting of all ballots via a joint public statement wherever and whenever such efforts take place;
We will make it exceedingly clear that should a candidate prematurely declare victory at any point without an overwhelming public consensus that he has attained the minimum 270 electoral votes, we will assert our statutory authority as state election officials by correcting the record with an immediate joint public statement and by providing (a) a real-time update on percentage of votes counted in our respective states and (b) our best estimate on when all counting will be concluded.
We ask you to consider committing to these actions as public affirmation that you will stand up for your constituents by demonstrating your independence and your sacred responsibility to proactively resist narratives designed to undermine our free and fair elections.
We know you understand the importance of your role in preserving our fragile democracy. We believe that you will succeed.
Protect Our Election
Showing Up for Racial Justice
Public Democracy America
Take Action Minnesota
The Juggernaut Project
Count Every Vote - Oregon
Hold the Line
Bay Rising Action
Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada Action
Four Freedoms Democratic Club
Extinction Rebellion (Coachella Valley)
Dutchess County Progressive Action Alliance