For Immediate Release:
Contact: Roger Kerson, 734.645.0535, email@example.com
Unlikely Allies Unite for Election Integrity:
Labor, Civil Rights and Environmental Coalition Welcomes Calls
from Business Leaders to Count All Votes
Washington DC – Leaders of the Democracy Initiative, representing a combined 45 million member of labor, environmental and civil rights organizations, today welcomed recent statements by America’s top business leaders upholding the integrity of U.S. elections.
In separate and complementary statements, the Business Roundtable and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the Civic Alliance and the Leadership Now Project have appealed for patience and civility as state and local officials take the time to count all votes during a unique election season. Tens of millions of Americans are voting by mail or voting early this year. In addition, voters, election workers and volunteers are taking steps to ensure safe in-person voting during a deadly pandemic.
“After years of hard work to expand ballot access, Americans are voting in record numbers this year, taking advantage of multiple voting options,” said Wendy Fields, executive director of the Democracy Initiative. “No matter where we come from or what we look like, there is broad agreement across civil society—including business, labor, environmental and civil rights organizations. Every vote counts and every vote must be counted.”
As detailed in the “Roadblocks and Remedies” report from the Democracy Initiative, the grass roots democracy movement has successfully won voting reforms in dozens of states. As a result, 45 states (and the District of Columbia) now have no-excuse vote-by-mail, and 43 states (and DC) now have early voting.
“It’s not every day I find myself in agreement with the Business Roundtable and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce,” said Tefere Gebre, executive vice president of the AFL-CIO and co-chair of the Democracy Initiative board of directors. “Counting every vote is important to everyone in our democracy.”
“We welcome the voices of business leaders calling for patience and civility throughout the process of casting and counting votes in all jurisdictions,” said Karen Hobert Flynn, president of Common Cause and co-chair of the Democracy Initiative Board of Directors. “Time and again, the United States has met the challenge of self-governance, holding elections during times of war, the Great Depression and other crises. Together, we will show that even during a pandemic, we will uphold our commitment to free and fair elections.”
A broad commitment across civil society to count every vote is especially important, said Fields, in light of recent contradictory rulings from the Supreme Court, which limit the time available to count votes in Wisconsin, but—so far—have allowed extending counting periods in Pennsylvania and North Carolina.
“Elections are decided by voters, not politicians,” said Fields. “All of us, from all sectors of civil society, must raise our voices in the coming days to make it clear that partisan interference with vote-counting is unacceptable.”
The Democracy Initiative is a coalition of 75 organizations with a collective 45 million members fighting for workers, civil rights, social justice and the environment. DI partner organizations are united in their commitment to realizing the promise of American democracy where all people have an equal seat at the governance table.