Convergence Center For Policy Resolution

Renewing Trust in Elections: Nonpartisan Initiative Releases New Report, Tool, and Resources

Washington, D.C., April 11, 2024 Convergence Center for Policy Resolution released a new report detailing research and deliberations into strategies for improving the public’s trust in elections. The Convergence Collaborative on Trust in Elections Final Report is informed by a thorough landscape analysis of the issues surrounding distrust of U.S. elections and a months-long convening of cross-partisan and cross-sector leaders. The Report explores the challenges and solutions for public messaging that could renew trust in the electoral process. It also includes a customizable template for local election officials to demystify the voting process in their communities as well as resources from other organizations working to increase trust in elections and unite Americans across political divides. The project was done in parallel with the Braver Angels Trustworthy Elections Campaign.

“In recent years, there have been concerning developments in how Americans perceive the voting process. Without trust in our elections, we risk undermining our democratic republic,” notes Mariah Levison, CEO and President of Convergence. “However, I am encouraged by the opportunity for us to unite in ensuring that Americans are well-informed and feel confident in our electoral system. Convergence and other organizations working to bridge divides across differences, such as Braver Angels, are playing a crucial role to restore faith in both the voting process and our nation as a whole. We are proud to be part of this collective effort.”  

The Convergence Collaborative on Trust in Elections began in early 2023 when Convergence conducted discovery research to better understand the various points in the election process that create confusion, disinformation, or misinformation, and how targeted, credible messages could bolster voter confidence going into the 2024 elections. Convergence interviewed an ideologically and demographically diverse group of 120 of the nation’s leading stakeholders in elections, including Secretaries of State, local election officials, leaders of civic organizations, researchers, academics, lawyers, communications experts, and citizens at the grassroots level.  

Building off of a landscape analysis of the issues surrounding distrust of U.S. elections, Convergence convened the Convergence Collaborative on Trust in Elections, a group of cross-ideological and cross-sectoral leaders with deep expertise in elections at national, state, and local levels, alongside communications and behavior change experts to discuss approaches and solutions for equipping election administrators with credible messages for educating and informing their constituents, thereby increasing trust in elections. Ultimately, Collaborative participants created a template for local election officials to educate and inform young and new voters about what happens in their jurisdiction after a ballot is cast.  

Information about the portion of the election process after a ballot has been cast, including local rules, timelines, and activities, is not uniformly available for locations around the country, nor is there detailed information that addresses this topic on a federal level. This gap represents an opportunity for local election officials to educate their constituents about this part of the process. This approach has the benefit of ensuring that the information a voter receives is accurate and correct for their jurisdiction, and it capitalizes on the role local election officials can uniquely play as trusted sources of local information. This solution resonated with every Collaborative participant, regardless of ideology or expertise. 

The template provides local election officials with the opportunity to explain – succinctly and clearly – the entire voting process in their jurisdiction. The tool includes: 

  • An instruction page on how to use the template; 
  • Messaging guidance with advice for local election officials about communicating effectively; and 
  • A fillable PDF that election officials can use to communicate the ways to vote in their community, what happens after polls close on Election Day, and information about voter roster updates and audits that ensure the integrity of elections. 

Convergence calls upon all those invested in a healthy democratic republic to share this report, the associated template for local election officials, and the resources on trust in elections wherever they can have the greatest impact: with local, community, and civic organizations, voter initiatives, election administrators, and more. 

About Convergence Center for Policy Resolution    

Convergence is the leading organization bridging divides to solve critical issues through collaborative problem-solving across ideological, political, and cultural lines. Since 2009, Convergence has brought together leaders, doers, and experts—many who never thought they could talk to one another—to build trusting relationships, identify breakthrough solutions, and form unlikely alliances for constructive change on seemingly intractable issues. Our process is improving the lives of Americans and strengthening democracy for a more resilient and collaborative future. For more information, visit convergencepolicy.org.  

The Convergence Collaborative on Trust in Elections was made possible through the generous support of the New Pluralists Collaborative, a sponsored project of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors. 

Subscribe for Updates