Broad Coalition Calls On U.S. Election Officials To Unite Around Pro-Democracy Principles
Washington (October 20, 2020) – With two weeks remaining before Election Day, a broad coalition of advocacy groups, non-profit organizations, activists, and business leaders is uniting to ask chief election officials in all 50 states to publicly commit to a series of nonpartisan procedural steps designed to reinforce our democratic process.
In an open letter shared today with state Secretaries of State and State Election Directors, the coalition praises election officials around the country for their hard work and dedication to democratic principles during a challenging election season. The letter acknowledges those challenges and lays out nine specific measures that its co-signers believe will help fortify our electoral and institutional response to this unprecedented 2020 cycle.
“Our goal with this letter is to encourage America’s election officials to come together around a set of shared principles - we believe that they will find strength in numbers by making these public commitments to each other and to voters everywhere,” said Steve Wanczyk, executive director of Protect Our Election, one of the organizers of the effort.
The group - which includes national advocacy organizations like 350.org and Showing Up for Racial Justice, activist movements like Choose Democracy and Hold The Line, and faith-based organizations like Sojourners - took a systematic approach towards identifying the most effective and actionable ways for election officials to embrace their shared purpose. The recommendations are based on fundamental tenets of democracy like transparency, accountability, and the rule of law.
“There can be no just recovery without just elections,” added Natalie Mebane, US Policy Director for 350.org. “350.org is proud to be a part of a growing coalition working arduously to hold fair elections amidst the compound crises of COVID, lack of funding for elections, and a nationwide shortage of poll workers. We thank the elected officials who are standing up for our communities, and demand decision-makers at all levels pledge to do all that they can to ensure every vote is counted.”
The coalition is tracking pledge commitments at the state and county level across the country, as part of a coordinated effort to demonstrate widespread public support for election administrators and the traditionally nonpartisan role they play in overseeing the United States’ electoral system. Taken together, the organizations involved have the ability to reach and activate millions of citizens dedicated to democracy.
The full list of co-signers as of October 20 includes Protect Our Election, 350.org, Showing Up for Racial Justice, Public Democracy America, Represent.US, Choose Democracy, Hold the Line, Sojourners, Dream Corp, Demcast USA, Take Action Minnesota, Bay Rising Action, Bay Resistance, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada Action, Four Freedoms Democratic Club, and Extinction Rebellion (Coachella Valley).
An allied effort launched by business leaders from the WeTheChange, the American Sustainable Business Council and the Social Venture Circle networks is working with private sector leaders to do similar outreach to state election officials, sending the message that what is good for democracy is good for business. WeTheChange is part of a nonpartisan network of over 1,300 US-based certified B Corporations, and the American Sustainable Business Council represents over 250,000 businesses in a wide range of industries.
“We need to ensure that the elections are safe, secure, and fair to prevent any mass confusion, hysteria or even violence,” said Rose Penelope Yee, co-founder of We The Change and CEO of Green Retirement Inc. “Business operates best in an environment where consumers have confidence in their government and economy. WeTheChange, a coalition of B Corp women CEOs, are sending letters to state election officials encouraging them to commit to actions that we believe will go a long way toward ensuring the integrity of the election results, and mitigating against racialized violence.” The full letter is attached below and available at Protect Our Election’s website.