Our work for safe, secure, and transparent elections in 2020 and beyond
Issue One has been involved in election reform efforts since its 2019 “Don’t Mess with Us” campaign, securing $425 million to help deter foreign interference in December 2019. Anticipating many of the problems that would come to affect the 2020 primaries and the November elections, Issue One continued to push Congress for more money for states to hold safe and secure elections during the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act stimulus that was passed into law included $400 million for these measures, an important downpayment to support our election systems.
In October 2020, Issue One and its bipartisan National Council on Election Integrity (NCEI) project — more than 40 government, political, and civic leaders — launched the “Count Every Vote” campaign, a public effort to defend the legitimacy of our elections, call for patience from the American electorate while every vote is counted, and advocate for state and local election officials to have more support to hold safe and secure pandemic elections.
On top of the challenges caused by the pandemic, the council worked to consistently and forcefully push back against the narrative pushed by President Trump and his supporters of widespread election fraud via mail-in ballots that sowed serious doubt in the validity and security of our sacred democratic process. Both before and after election day, the council amplified a message that worked to ensure a peaceful transfer of power and speaking out against efforts to diminish faith in our system — receiving signification media attention, with more than 200 media mentions, in addition to running four TV ads.
The 2020 election was deemed the most secure in modern history by the Trump administration, and former Attorney General William Barr found no evidence of fraud affecting the outcome. Our democratic institutions held, but they were tested. There remains significant and unacceptable doubt by many Americans into the legitimacy of the results. Because of this, Issue One and the National Council on Election Integrity remain committing to protecting our democratic constitutional election process and promoting reforms to address the most glaring problems of 2020.