RELEASE: Newly-Launched Nonpartisan Voter Protection Program Brings Together State Leaders and Law Enforcement to Protect Election Integrity

For Immediate Release

October 16, 2020

Contact: Mariam Ahmed, mariam.ahmed@berlinrosen.com

Newly-Launched Nonpartisan Voter Protection Program Brings Together State Leaders and Law Enforcement to Protect Election Integrity

Amid efforts to suppress voting and undermine the public’s confidence in this year’s election results, a newly formed initiative, the Voter Protection Program (VPP), has emerged as a critical resource in the effort to ensure safe, fair, and secure elections in 2020 and in the future.

The Voter Protection Program advances strategies and recommendations to protect the election and make sure every vote is counted, with a specific focus on the unique tools available to state attorneys general, governors, secretaries of state, and law enforcement leaders. The VPP includes experienced litigators who have worked in state and federal government in both Republican and Democratic administrations, national experts on voting rights and election protection, communications professionals with expertise advising state officials, and a bipartisan Advisory Board of former governors, attorneys general, and leaders in local, state, and federal law enforcement.

“The Voter Protection Program is here to support the many leaders in state government and law enforcement across this country who are committed to the integrity of our elections. Attorneys general, governors, secretaries of state, law enforcement leaders: these are the red, white, and blue wall protecting our democracy. We want to make very clear to the American people that they should vote, they can do so safely, and we will make sure every vote is counted,” said Joanna Lydgate, National Director of the Voter Protection Program. 

The VPP seeks to be a “think and do” tank focused on the critical role of state attorneys general and other leaders in combating election interference and voter suppression. Over the past several months, state attorneys general — the top lawyers and law enforcement officers for their states — have already secured key wins to protect the integrity of the election. These include: successfully suing to stop changes to the U.S. Postal Service; defending expanded voting laws; prosecuting robocallers spreading misinformation; issuing legal advisories about voter intimidation; and taking quick action against unauthorized drop boxes. Among its resources, the VPP has launched a voter intimidation toolkit to help state attorneys general and other leaders make sure every American can safely cast their vote.

“This isn’t a partisan issue. Voting is a fundamental right in our democracy. The Voter Protection Program is here to protect that right and to let the American people know that they should have confidence in the integrity of our elections. The goal is to support and work with state leaders across the country to make sure every vote is counted,” said former New Jersey Governor and VPP Advisory Board member Christine Todd Whitman.

“Election officials, Republicans and Democrats, are guardians of our democracy and will ensure a free and fair election. They take their responsibilities very seriously. The American people should have trust in the most fundamental process in our democracy: our elections. We are working together, across the aisle, to make sure of it,” said former Governor of Pennsylvania and VPP Advisory Board member Tom Ridge.

“This election, just like every election in American history, the people will decide the outcome. In order to hold true to that history, we need to cut through the misinformation and fear mongering. We need to work together, across the aisle, to make sure voters feel confident casting their ballots. That work has never been more important,” said former Massachusetts Governor and VPP Advisory Board member Bill Weld.

“Across the country, the law enforcement community is working together to make sure this election is safe and fair and that every vote is counted. It’s all hands on deck, because we know that the integrity of our election is key to our success. We will make sure things go well, and that should be every patriotic American’s goal,” said Houston Police Chief and VPP Advisory Board member Art Acevedo.

“Over the last few months, we’ve seen unfounded attacks on the security of voting by mail, malicious efforts to undermine the U.S. Postal Service, encouragement of voter intimidation, and refusal to commit to accepting election results and a peaceful transition of power. These unprecedented attacks on our democratic process are dangerous and unacceptable. Now is the time for state leaders to step in to defend the integrity of the election,” said former Nevada Attorney General and VPP Advisory Board member Frankie Sue Del Papa.

“I served for many years as the Republican Attorney General of the state of Arizona, so I know a little something about public safety and enforcing the law. I can tell you this: state attorneys general will work with their partners in government and law enforcement to make sure we have a safe election, a fair election, and that every vote is counted. That’s what this Voter Protection Program is all about,” said former Arizona Attorney General and VPP Advisory Board member Grant Woods.

“Coming from New Hampshire, I take safe, secure, and accurate elections very seriously. As we confront attacks on the integrity of our system, we need to use every tool we have to ensure a free and fair election. As the former New Hampshire Attorney General, I cannot overstate the power of the states in that fight, or the role of the courts,” said VPP Advisory Board member Tom Rath.

“As a former Attorney General, I can tell you that state and local leaders are front and center when it comes to election integrity. There has never been a more important time to reinforce the power of our democracy—and send a message to those seeking to undermine it that we are paying attention. Voters can and should trust the system and the outcome of this election, just like we have for centuries,” said former Alaska Attorney General and VPP Advisory Board member Jahna Lindemuth.

“It’s so important for people to understand how what is happening in the courts affects their access to the ballot box. The American people need to have trust in our elections, and part of building that trust is demonstrating how elected officials are working together to protect voters and ensure a free and fair process,” said former Mississippi Attorney General and VPP Advisory Board member Jim Hood.

“There are concerns being expressed regarding the upcoming election. It’s understandable that voters would be confused, or even worse, fearful about casting their ballots. Let’s set the record straight: you should know that state leaders and law enforcement are working together right now, around the clock, to protect our citizens’ right to vote and to ensure the integrity of the election. I, for one, take great comfort in that,” said former ICE Director, former U.S. Attorney, and VPP Advisory Board member Sarah Saldaña.

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About the Voter Protection Program

The Voter Protection Program is a nonpartisan initiative of the Progressive State Leaders Committee, a 501(c)(4) organization. Visit https://voterprotectionprogram.org/about/ for more information. 

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