The Business Alliance for Effective Democracy is a select group of major U.S. corporations seeking improvements to democracy. The Business Alliance prioritizes policies that enhance the voting experience, inspire confidence in election results, and foster collaboration and bipartisanship in our governing institutions, especially Congress.
The founding members of the Business Alliance for Effective Democracy are:
- CVS Health
- Delta Air Lines
- Southern Company
The business community brings a trusted voice and leadership role to finding solutions that require new ideas and rational debate for how we conduct democracy in a nation as complex as ours. This includes supporting election laws that make voting easier and maintain security, crucial steps to rebuilding confidence in elections. The companies’ top priority is helping to build a healthy democracy for their employees, customers, and the communities they serve.
Rather than sitting on the sidelines, the corporations composing BPC’s Business Alliance for Effective Democracy are committed to advancing new and innovative approaches to strengthen our democracy.
Promoting Free and Fair Elections
US democracy stands at an inflection point. The 2020 election saw record high turnout, which reflects voter engagement on a scale that we should build upon in the future. Policies proposed and enacted this year will impact the future of voting in America.
The business community believes strongly in the need for voting policies that will keep our democracy free and fair—a flourishing democracy is the prerequisite for our free market economy. At its core, that requires a voting system that maximizes the coequal interests of access and ease of voting with security and confidence in the results.
American voters expect broad and easy access to the ballot box. They also demand the sanctity of those ballots. An election ecosystem that builds trust and confidence will meet both of these needs. Our employees, customers, and the communities we serve deserve no less.
Partisan legislative efforts driven by misinformation and/or a desire for electoral advantage place great strain on an already brittle and overtaxed election system. We firmly believe that election policies that burden historically marginalized Americans are antithetical to a free, fair, and accessible modern democracy. A successful voting system must serve all communities fairly. Further, modifications to voting rules should be evidence-based and rooted in bipartisan consensus to ward off any perception of bias in favor of one party.
The fundamental federalist principles set by the Constitution have often meant that states make the majority of election policies while the federal government provides critical protections and resources to ensure all voters can participate in our democracy. Voters today are exposed to a variety of voting practices across the country and expect the availability of consistent, baseline voting options. Federal standards are appropriate when they are designed with attention to differences within and across states, allow flexibility to tailor for local needs, and provide adequate funding for implementation.
At this time of great polarization over how American democracy should function, state legislatures and Congress should focus on achievable and implementable bipartisan policies that improve voter access, foster integrity, respect federalism, and reflect the bedrock voting rights principles our nation has committed to for over half a century. The Business Alliance for Effective Democracy endorses the following set of principles that can be applied to state and federal voting legislation.
Election policy is best and most durable when constructed and passed in a bipartisan way with the input of election officials responsible for implementing new provisions.
Policymakers should promote easy access to voter registration and the ballot without prohibitive barriers. Early voting, including weekends, and absentee voting should be made available to all Americans as a convenient suite of options in addition to standard voting on Election Day.
Elections must be secure. Voter rolls should be consistently and accurately maintained. No one who is ineligible to vote should be able to successfully cast a ballot. Americans should cast voter verifiable ballots that represent the ballot of record for recounts and audits.
Election laws that target a specific group’s ability to participate in American democracy or usurp the will of voters and authority of election officials are antithetical to our system.
Election laws should preserve the will of voters and bolster the safety and integrity of election officials. Election workers and voters should be protected against threats, intimidation, and violence.
American democracy deserves ample resource investments at the local, state, and federal level. Election officials must have access to consistent and sufficient funding to effectively administer elections, count the vote, and implement new policy mandates.
In 2020, our nation's election officials overcame tremendous obstacles and enabled more people to vote than ever before. It is critical that policymakers come together in a bipartisan manner to ensure the right to vote is protected and facilitated for all Americans. Our economy depends upon an effective democracy. It is encouraging to see business leaders rise to meet this challenge in the interest of their employees, customers, and communities.