Faces of Democracy
A campaign of election officials and workers to strengthen U.S. elections
The Faces of Democracy campaign, powered by election workers themselves, aims to win regular, predictable, and sufficient funding for state and local election administration by Congress, protections for election workers and facilities, and the updating of arcane election laws.
Election officials and poll workers are our neighbors and our friends – and they make our democracy work. They ran safe, fair, and secure elections in 2020 and 2022, despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, disinformation, and threats.
But despite running elections that are fair, safe and secure, election officials continue to face resource challenges and unprecedented incidents of harassment and intimidation.
More than 75% of election officials say that threats against election administrators and staff have increased in recent years. Reuters has documented more than 850 such cases already, and workers continue to face intense political pressure and intimidation.The percentage saying they are “very worried” about political leaders interfering in future elections has nearly tripled since before 2020. Now one in five election officials plan to leave their jobs before the 2024 election.
“No election official should face political pressure, threats, or intimidation for doing their jobs and protecting the integrity of our elections. If we want to maintain a functioning democracy, we must keep our elections free, fair, and safe. Anyone who violently threatens an election worker or their family must be held fully accountable under our rule of law.” – Acting Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Al Schmidt
Election workers know firsthand what it will take to ensure our elections in 2022 and 2024 meet the standards for fairness, safety and security, and to address the country’s evolving needs and challenges, including disinformation. The campaign is informed by the experiences of election officials and workers across the country — faces of democracy from both red states and blue, rural communities and urban, and from every level, including secretaries of state, city commissioners, county clerks and registrars, poll workers and election judges. It is guided by the following principles:
- Election officials and poll workers should not face political pressure, threats, or intimidation for doing their jobs and protecting the integrity of our elections
- Elections are essential infrastructure for our democracy and Congress should provide states and localities with regular, predictable, and sufficient funding
“Supporting our election infrastructure through regular and predictable funding is critical to ensuring secure and credible elections. During the global pandemic, states and localities across the country faced significant funding shortfalls. Private philanthropy stepped up at the last moment to help close the funding gap, but future elections shouldn’t need to rely on private donors. The federal government must deliver the resources election officials need to safely and fairly administer our elections.” – Former Acting Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Leigh Chapman
In order to address these threats, ensure the integrity of our elections, and protect the people who run them, Congress should:
- Authorize significant and regular investment in America’s election infrastructure to ensure our elections are adequately funded;
- Provide new funding streams — through the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, or the Election Assistance Commission — that election administrators and their staffs can utilize specifically for threat monitoring, safety and doxxing training, privacy services and home security;
- Enhance information sharing and coordination about threats against election officials between federal, state and local law enforcement entities;
- Clarify and expand existing federal protections against threats and intimidation to include authorized election agents, contractors, vendors, and volunteers; and
- Increase privacy protections for election workers and their families to protect against doxxing and harassment.
“At one point I had such a credible threat that I had police officers with me. These people were trying to get my home address and my social security number… I was at a viewing once and I heard people whispering about who I was, and I actually left. I had to leave church one Sunday.” – Philadelphia City Commissioner Lisa Deeley
“I’ve testified before Congress on cyber security and the need for more election resources from the federal government to the states. We don’t need a large sum of money every 10 years or every five years. What we need is consistent, dedicated funding so that we can plan ahead and do the things that we need to do. Administering our elections securely is not cheap.” – Former Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos
- Faces of Democracy: How Our Elections Work and the Challenges Ahead
- Campaign one-pager
- Faces of Democracy bios
Ms. Magazine: Protecting the Process: Why You Should Always Talk Politics at the Dinner Table
Op-ed by Faces of Democracy participant Carly Koppes...
Issue One releases new ‘Faces of Democracy’ guide telling the story of U.S. elections and the people behind them
CNN: Bipartisan Faces of Democracy participants interviewed ahead of midterms
New poll shows overwhelming support in Washington state to protect children’s safety online
The poll comes as parents, pediatricians, and youth leaders urge Congress to pass the Kids Online Safety Act in the remaining days of the legislative session...
In a poll released today by the Council for Responsible Social Media (CRSM), Washington residents overwhelmingly support passing the Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA), a bipartisan bill that would safeguard…
Diverse council of leaders calls on Congress to protect kids’ online safety
Members of the Council for Responsible Social Media urge lawmakers to prioritize and pass the Kids Online Safety Act in the remaining weeks of the legislative session...
Today, members of the Council for Responsible Social Media endorsed the bipartisan Kids Online Safety Act (KOSA) and called on members of Congress to pass this important legislation during the…
In the media
The Guardian: Frances Haugen wants to hold giant social media platforms accountable
In the media
The Hill: Facebook whistleblower, former elected officials join new social media council
In the media
CNBC: Facebook whistleblower, former defense and intel officials form group to fix social media
In the media
Washington Post: ‘Responsible social media’ council looks to bridge divides on tech
Exclusive on the launch of the Council for Responsible Social Media...
Swamp Stories Episode 45: Debunking “2000 Mules”
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Democracy prevailed, say bipartisan National Council on Election Integrity co-chairs following the 2022 midterm elections
Following the 2022 midterm elections, co-chairs for Issue One’s bipartisan National Council on Election Integrity released the following statement: “Democracy won this week,” said former Congresswoman Donna Edwards (D-MD). “Across…
Voters sent a clear message by rejecting candidates who lie about our elections, says Issue One CEO Nick Penniman in wake of 2022 midterms
In the wake of the 2022 midterm elections, Issue One CEO and Founder Nick Penniman issued the following the statement: “While officials across the country are still counting the votes,…
Election-denying secretary of state candidates on the ballot have raised $8.9 million
A new Issue One analysis shows that election-denying secretary of state candidates collectively raised $15.7 million — including $8.9 million raised by election deniers who prevailed in their primaries and…