Don’t Be on the Wrong Side of Democracy

Grassroots coalition calls for immediate action to address U.S. election integrity and security
Tuesday, February 20, 2018


Michelle C. Whittaker
Director of Communications / 202-567-6103


WASHINGTON, D.C. — (February 20, 2018) The Democracy Initiative (DI), a grassroots coalition of labor, environment, civil rights, and good government groups calls on our leaders from the White House to state houses to take immediate actions to protect the integrity of our elections.  We demand common sense measures to regulate political ads, expand voting to more eligible Americans, and update our voting infrastructure to ensure that every vote counts and that everyday people have their voices heard.

Making our elections work for the American people should be the priority of every elected official. The indictment of 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities for conducting a coordinated attack on the 2016 U.S. elections is a clarion moment for action. Now is the time to protect the security and integrity of our elections and create a 21st century democracy for all.

"Russia has attacked our democracy," said Wendy Fields, executive director for the Democracy Initiative. "We can no longer deny the large-scale attack that occurred in 2016 and is threatening to impact our 2018 elections. If a foreign government invaded our shores we would act swiftly to defend our country. Mueller's indictment demands a swift and urgent response before Americans head to polls in 2018 and beyond. Those who fail to act will find themselves on the wrong side of democracy. Our call for a 21st century democracy has been validated by these indictments and it is time to deliver on the promise of democracy of, by, and for the people – not the moneyed influence of Russian operatives."

Statements from Democracy Initiative Partners:

"It is time for Congress and the White House to put their country before their party. The attacks on Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his investigators are disgraceful and must cease. He must be given the full support of the White House and Congress to complete his investigation without interference. Congress must also pass much-needed reforms to modernize our campaign finance laws to address the new reality of how ads are purchased and disseminated online, as Mueller’s indictment makes clear. The bipartisan Honest Ads Act must be given a full hearing and immediate action." Karen Hobert Flynn, DI Co-Chair, President, Common Cause

“The NAACP calls for a complete investigation into the alleged election tampering by Russian nationals in the 2016 presidential election. As important, we also call for a thorough assessment of our election system to determine any potential weaknesses that could allow for the suppression or interference of votes during the upcoming midterm elections. […] It is clear that the Black vote has been targeted by both internal and external forces and the NAACP is committed to challenging any attempt to reduce or diminish the political power of the African-American community, communities of color and the nation as a whole.” Derrick Johnson, DI Board Member, NAACP President and CEO

“The indictments show that our election systems were, and still are, vulnerable to inappropriate foreign interference.  While ignoring the serious external threats to our elections, the Trump administration has instead focused on disenfranchising voters and making it even harder for everyday Americans to vote. In order to protect our communities and our environment, we need to modernize and secure our election systems so that all eligible voters are registered, every voice is heard, and all votes are counted free of interference by powerful special interests.” Jon Fox, Senior Democracy Campaigner, Friends of the Earth

"Russia's involvement in the past presidential election undermined the integrity of our country's electoral process. Russian trolls posing as engaged American citizens and grassroots organizations that stand up for people and the planet over corporate power and wealthy special interests represents an assault on everything that makes our country unique. The time is now for a massive grassroots mobilization in defense of our democracy, and the Democratic process. Join us in demanding every member of Congress put country before party and launch an independent commission to investigate this attack on the integrity of our democracy to ensure it never happens again.” Ansje Miller, Director of Policy and Partnerships, Center for Environmental Health



The Democracy Initiative is a dynamic network of 64 organizations representing more than 40 million members working for a responsive, reflective, and inclusive democracy where all Americans participate fully and freely in the democratic process. Learn more at