Washington, DC – The Bipartisan Policy Center today announced the launch of the Business Alliance for Effective Democracy, a select group of major U.S. corporations seeking improvements to the policies and laws that impact our democracy. The 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 four founding members of the alliance are Citi, CVS Health, Delta Air Lines, and Southern Company.
The nation is at an inflection point when it comes to the fundamental access Americans have to the ballot. One-party-driven changes to our elections systems add to the acrimony and distrust that divides our politics. The companies comprising the alliance believe the private sector can play a positive role in supporting election laws that make voting easier and maintain security, crucial steps to rebuilding confidence in elections.
“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,” said BPC President Jason Grumet. “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.”
Rather than sitting on the sidelines, the corporations composing BPC’s alliance are committed to advancing new and innovative approaches to strengthen our democracy. 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. Our top priority is helping to build a healthy democracy for our employees, customers, and the communities we serve.
The alliance encourages policymakers to refocus the debate on election administration innovations that both parties can support, that state and local election officials can reasonably implement, and which will help all voters cast their ballots. Voters should have access to early, mail-in, and in-person voting options, and the entire process must be secured from end-to-end if leaders expect Americans to trust the results. Our country achieves both goals when policymakers work in concert with election administrators who must implement the policies on the ground.
This group endorses certain principles for voting policy.
Principles for Voting Access and Integrity
- 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.
These principles draw upon the work of BPC’s Elections Task Force, which is made up of 28 current state and local election administrators from across the nation. The task force makes recommendations for improving election administration, including in 2020 and 2021.
The alliance is supported by BPC’s nationally regarded Elections Project, BPC’s affiliated 501c(4), BPC Action, and its successful and proven Congress Project which has identified a series of positive actions that characterize effective legislators. BPC has a years-long track record of bringing evidence-based analysis to the complex and politically fraught election policy debate, including supporting and continuing the work of the Presidential Commission on Election Administration.