In the aftermath of the 2020 election, the United States came dangerously close to full democratic upheaval with the January 6 insurrection and efforts to overturn election results. Were it not for the heroic actions from a handful of state and local elected officials from both parties, the outcome could have been far worse. Far from being over, in the months since January 6, anti-democratic efforts to block access to the ballot box have continued in state legislatures and courtrooms across the country. It is imperative – and urgent – that we shore up our democratic process to withstand attacks on its legitimacy.
While we strongly support the passage of federal legislation to protect the right to vote and maintain the integrity of our elections, state and local elected officials play an important role, and can – and are -- acting now. The NewDEAL Forum is committed to driving change at the state and local levels, and is uniquely positioned to spearhead an effort to share best practices for preserving the health of our democracy, safeguarding the right of every eligible American to vote, and ensuring the results of those votes are respected. As highlighted by NewDEAL Forum CEO Debbie Cox Bultan and group co-chair Ken Lawrence, Montgomery County, PA Commissioner, "Our goal [is to] give these leaders the tools and information they need to resist those who would undermine our democracy."
The Democracy Working Group, which kicked off in May 2022, will share information about what is happening on the ground, and examine and recommend options to defend democracy from attacks on voting rights, expand and secure access to the ballot box and ensure all votes are fairly counted. The group will draw on the expertise of elected leaders on the ground, from State Secretaries of State to election clerks, as well as experts in the field.
Working Group Co-Chairs
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson
Nevada Assemblymember Sandra Jauregui
Montgomery County, PA Commissioner Ken Lawrence