NewDEAL Forum Releases ‘Playbook’ for Running Elections
WASHINGTON — If states are serious about the integrity of their elections, they should dramatically increase protections for election workers and do everything they can to ensure the transparency of the process.
That’s the overriding advice of the NewDEAL Forum, policy arm of the NewDEAL Leaders, a national network of pro-growth progressive Democratic officials, who this week released a 31-page report called the “Democracy Playbook.”
Spearheaded by the NewDEAL Forum’s Democracy Working Group, the playbook is a compilation of more the 40 specific actions the members believe election officials and their elected counterparts should take ahead of the 2024 presidential election.
“The time to act to preserve our democracy is now,” said Debbie Cox Bultan, CEO of the NewDEAL Forum, in a written statement marking the launch of the playbook.
“The stain of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol following the 2020 election still casts a long shadow over our nation, and we cannot allow such an event to happen again,” she continued.
“People of good faith who believe in freedom and democracy — no matter their political party — must stand up against malignant forces that seek to undermine our nation.
“This playbook will provide state and local officials with best practices to ensure our democracy stands strong,” she said.
The Democracy Working Group is co-chaired by Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, Arizona Secretary of State Adrian Fontes, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, County Commissioner Ken Lawrence and Nevada Assemblywoman Sandra Jauregui.
Their recommendations include:
- Enacting significant penalties for threats against election workers, including elected officials and poll workers.
- Increasing transparency by publicly testing voting machines.
- Enacting reforms to enable election officials to count ballots more quickly, such as pre-canvassing.
- Increasing access to voter registration through automatic voter registration and allowing citizens to register to vote up to and on Election Day.
- Increasing access to voting through enabling no-excuse absentee voting and embracing a robust early voting period.
- Working with civic and business groups to foster civic engagement and build a sense of community.
“Democracy prevailed over the lies of many election deniers in 2020 and 2022, but the attacks on democracy will increase in intensity, frequency and sophistication ahead of 2024,” said Benson in a written statement. “We’re sharing this playbook to identify the policies and best practices that leaders across the nation can advocate for and adopt to prepare for the coming attacks, protect voters, and ensure America’s democracy expands and flourishes.”
But Bultan stressed the release of the playbook is not the end of her organization’s work on this issue.
“While we believe that the recommendations in this document — if implemented in every state — would go a long way to safeguarding our democracy, we will continue to listen to and learn from elected officials and issue-area experts around the country,” she said.
“And we will do all we can to highlight, support, and encourage policies that strengthen and defend the right of all Americans to have their voices heard and their votes counted.”