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Convergence Center For Policy Resolution

Convergence Collaborative on Trust in Elections Visual

Convergence Collaborative on Trust in Elections

Convergence Collaborative on

Trust in elections

Building solutions for equipping election administrators with credible messages for educating and informing their constituents to increase trust in elections.

ABOUT THE COLLABORATIVE

The Convergence Collaborative on Trust in Elections brought together 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. The group of 13 experts met six times from August 2023 to February 2024.

The Problem

Fair and free elections are fundamental to a healthy, thriving democracy. They represent an essential right of the people: the ability to choose their own leaders. If trust is lacking in an elections system, so too is trust in the validity of the results and elected leaders. Concerningly, trust in elections in the United States is declining.

Widespread, unfounded claims of voter fraud around the 2020 presidential election resulted in only 15% of Americans saying they were very confident the country’s elections were administered properly – a near historic low. Only two years later, in the 2022 midterm elections, Republicans were more likely that Democrats to believe there was significant fraud (43% of Republicans vs. 8% of Democrats). Democrats were twice as likely to believe the 2022 midterm election results were “accurate.” This sharp division and rise in distrust occurred despite election experts, administrators, law enforcement officials, and others observing little, if any, voter fraud or errors in election administration.

Elections in the United States have not traditionally put the citizen at the center. They are designed for political parties to identify and turn out their voters, while allowing administrators to easily count votes. These cross-cutting incentives make it challenging to communicate clearly and accurately about elections in the United States. Addressing the increasing levels of mis and distrust requires a multipronged effort across elected leaders, educators, community leaders, civic engagement initiatives and others committed to our democratic process persevering. 

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Only 15% of Americans were very confident the country’s elections were administered properly after the 2020 presidential election
Pew Research Center

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Less than 20% of Americans say they trust the government in Washington to do what is right “just about always” or “most of the time”
Pew Research Center

solution to strengthening
trust in elections:

A Template for Local Election Officials

Local jurisdictions have different ways of registering to vote, voting, counting votes, and more. The group developed a template local election officials could customize to communicate about the election processes in their jurisdictions. 

The group designed a template that would provide local election officials with the opportunity to explain – succinctly and clearly – the entire voting process in their jurisdiction. The template includes: 

  • An instruction page on how to use the template; 
  • Messaging guidance with advice for local election officials about how to share the content in the template, suggested talking points, and key messengers in addition to local election officials for increasing trust in the electoral process; 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. 

Program funder

Interested in funding a project in the future?

Check out our donate page or contact our development team to learn more.

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