Key Dates & Deadlines
- Follow the Voter Protection Program on Twitter to stay updated on the latest voter protection news!
VPP Responds to Voter Intimidation: Today, the F.B.I. announced it is investigating an incident in Texas this weekend, when a caravan of Trump supporters ambushed a Biden-Harris campaign bus. USA Today’s writeup includes an excerpt from VPP’s guidance on driver intimidation of voters. In a New York Times article covering instances of disruptive and intimidating behavior, VPP National Director Joanna Lydgate said that law enforcement officials are monitoring groups for potential voter intimidation and threats.
Law Enforcement Leadership: Sheriff Peter Koutoujian, VPP Advisory Board member and president of the Major County Sheriffs of America, led the 104 member sheriffs of the MCSA, who serve 120 million Americans, in a statement promoting election safety and encouraging Americans to get out and vote. See the full statement here.
Battleground States Denounce Intimidation: Today, Attorney General Josh Stein of North Carolina issued a statement, joined by Attorneys General Kwame Raoul of Illinois, Keith Ellison of Minnesota, Aaron Ford of Nevada, Hector Balderas of New Mexico, Josh Shapiro of Pennsylvania, and Josh Kaul of Wisconsin, reiterating that voter intimidation is illegal — “whether it happens in person or from a car” — and will not be tolerated by law enforcement.
The Count: An increase in mail-in voting, a surge in voter turnout, and COVID-19 precautions make this year’s election different. To educate readers on the ballot counting effort, the Washington Post explained how and when voters will learn the result of the 2020 election. The article provides answers to key questions, including information on ballot counting in swing states.
Mail-in Voting: An election official northeast of Pittsburgh discusses the uncertainty that accompanied the expansion of mail-in voting, especially amid false claims and misinformation about the integrity of voting by mail. Read more in the New York Times here. Meanwhile, in two swing states, Florida and Georgia, NBC News reports that voters of color experience higher rates of ballot rejection than other voters.
Minnesota: Attorney General Keith Ellison responded to President Trump’s troubling threat to prematurely declare victory before every legal vote is counted. AG Ellison reminded voters that the election is decided by voters, not politicians, when all legally cast votes are counted.
New Jersey: The New Jersey Star-Ledger published an op-ed today from VPP Advisory Board member and former New Jersey Attorney General John Farmer, arguing that voters should trust the officials who tally election results. Read more from the Star-Ledger here.
Pennsylvania: Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s tweet reminding the President that the election will be called only after all legal votes are counted was featured today in POLITICO’s Playbook. AG Shapiro appeared on MSNBC with Ali Velshi yesterday to highlight the state’s winning record in defending against election-related litigation and on CNN with Erin Burnett to reiterate that all legal votes will be properly counted and certified.
On the day before Election Day, courts in Nevada and Texas rebuffed two last-minute efforts to suppress the vote. As always, find summaries of significant voting rights cases on the VPP’s website.
Nevada: AG Aaron Ford successfully defended against a lawsuit, brought by the Republican Party and the Trump Campaign, seeking to stop ballot counting in Clark County, Nevada’s most populous county and home to Las Vegas. The judge rejected the plaintiffs’ claim that Clark County’s counting procedures created a risk of fraud, finding that “[t]here is no evidence of any debasement or dilution of any citizen’s vote.” Read more here.
Texas: In a hearing today, a federal judge in Texas refused to throw out 127,000 votes cast by Harris County residents at the county’s ten drive-through voting locations. Residents have been voting at the drive-through polls for weeks, and the Texas Supreme Court has twice refused to intervene. The judge held that the plaintiffs had no standing to sue — in other words, that they could not show they were injured by the voting. The plaintiffs have filed an emergency appeal with the federal Fifth Circuit.
Messaging Guidance: What to Say if a Candidate Prematurely Declares Victory
- States are in charge of counting the votes, not the president. We will finish our job.
- Claiming victory at halftime isn’t winning. It’s cheating.
- That’s like asking if I’m worried that the score will change after halftime. Of course it can. Sometimes it changes by a lot. The results aren’t official until the votes have been counted, canvassed, and certified.
- The only way we’ll get the wrong results is if we rush to judgment and don’t count every vote.
- We will not let anyone steal this election.
- Let’s be clear: The results aren’t in until the count is finished.