This election season brought unprecedented turnout across the country. Millions of voters cast their ballots through early voting, vote-by-mail, and yesterday, at the polls. They turned out despite a global pandemic that required new processes and protocols. Moreover, with the support of thousands of election officials and volunteers, early reports suggest the country had a relatively smooth Election Day, without widespread intimidation, interference, or administrative problems.
But we do not yet know who will occupy the White House, nor who will hold many congressional, state, and local positions across the country. Now is the time to count every vote and listen to the voice of every voter. Politicians — including President Trump — have had their say over many months, but now the will of the American people must be heard.
Authoritarian calls to end counting of legitimate ballots have no place in our democracy. The President’s calls to do so undermine the will of the people and violate a basic principle of democracy. But this moment is what many experts, civic organizations, and media have spent months preparing for. We remain confident the system was built for this moment.
The two most important things Americans can do over the next 24 hours are:
- Be patient and let every vote be counted: A core principle of American democracy is that we choose our leaders – our leaders do not choose their voters. We must be patient and count every vote because every vote counts.
- Support and trust election officials: These state and local civil servants have been administering elections for years. We must give them time to count every vote and verify the results.
We’re going to know a lot more in the next few days. There are thousands of civic leaders and democracy champions — including highly qualified election officials — who are ensuring this process proceeds according to our highest democratic ideals. The campaigns can say what they want, but the votes of the American people will determine who takes office in January. Alongside our partners, Democracy Fund will be working until the final hour to ensure every vote is counted and the American people have the final say.