Fair Elections

Fair elections require numerous medium- and long-term reforms: nonpartisan election administration, uniform standards, machines that let us use instant runoff and proportional voting methods, and a federally protected right to vote, to name a few.

American voters also face several immediate challenges:

  • Will I have to wait in line for hours?
  • Will my precinct run out of provisional ballots?
  • Have I been unexpectedly wiped from the voter roll?
  • Will this machine delete or change my vote?
  • Can an accurate recount be conducted?
  • Does this pollworker know what he or she is doing?

With respect to these immediate challenges, FairVote supports common-sense reforms like mandatory pollworker training, accessibility of equipment to public scrutiny, paper-based audit capacity and election transparency in general.

Here are some of our allies:

Advancement Project -- http://www.advancementproject.org

The Advancement Project addresses a bedrock racial justice issue: expanding the active electorate. Its work focuses on increasing democratic participation in low-income and minority communities by investigating obstacles to voter participation and providing mechanisms for removing those obstacles.

Its Voter Protection Program has a team of attorneys, on-the-ground Local Voter Protection Advocates, and communications specialists who can provide vital services, including legal analysis, advice, and trainings, to local voter protection coalitions and civic participation groups.

The core strategy of its voter protection efforts is to expose problems early in the election cycle, to address these difficulties prior to Election Day: developing processes for verifying that applicants are indeed placed on the voting rolls as well as means of investigating unsuccessful applications, seeking to ensure that election officials establish fair and effective election administration procedures (i.e. avoid purging practices appropriate training for poll workers, allocation of resources to election precincts, provisional ballots, etc.).  

Campaign Legal Center -- http://www.campaignlegalcenter.org

The Campaign Legal Center is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization that works in the areas of campaign finance and elections, political communication and government ethics, offering analysis of these issues and representing the public interest in administrative, legislative and legal proceedings.

In the summer of 2008, it launched the Voters' Rights Protection Project, to provide generic drafts of potential court filings to individuals, organizations, and political parties who must resort to the courts to protect the fundamental rights of citizens to vote. The legal documents drafted by the Legal Center allow individuals, as well as advocacy groups, political parties, and candidates to obtain pre-election or Election Day relief for a host of problems, including extension of polling hours, insufficient ballots, and prevention of voter harassment or intimidation.

Election Protection -- www.866ourvote.org

Election Protection is the nation’s largest nonpartisan voter protection coalition, led by the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights under Law and representing more than 100 organizations (including major civil rights organizations such as the NAACP, Rock the Vote, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials and the National Congress of American Indians). This coalition was formed to ensure that all voters have an equal opportunity to participate in the political process.

It will undertake an extremely comprehensive effort to empower voters to make sure their vote counts this November 4. Through its 1-866-OUR-VOTE hotline (1-866-687-8683), website and dedicated team of legal experts and trained volunteers (more than 10,000), Election Protection helps all American voters, gain access to the polls and overcome obstacles to voting, offering live assistance, guidance, information and help. The live voter protection services are provided through Election Day for all 50 states.