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How to Navigate Potential Uncertainty About Election Results

The Ad Council has been a nonpartisan 501c3 nonprofit for decades. As the country moves through the final hours of an unprecedented voting season, we want to highlight three organizations, More in Common, Civic Alliance and Keep Our Republic, that aim to support democracy and help spread critical messaging within the workplace and among the general public, before, during and after Election Day. We hope these resources will be as useful for you as they have been for us.

The most important message for leaders, corporations and the media to convey at this juncture: patience. A lack of conclusive results on Election Day does not necessarily indicate a result in favor of either party, nor would that uncertainty inherently telegraph a breakdown in the voting system. As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, many states are experiencing a huge increase in the number of votes cast by mail, and each state has its own rules for processing those votes—some aren’t allowed to start counting until Election Day, for example.

As we face voter suppression, unrest, transnational interference and the possibility of contested results, we must also face the baseline truth that accurate counting may take more time than usual this year. Understandably, this fraught moment in our nation’s history may place an extreme burden on the mental health of your colleagues and employees. Once we’ve voted, we must do what we can to make sure our votes are counted—and then we must support each other through what could be an extraordinarily difficult period before the results are conclusively known.

Here’s a bit more about the organizations, the resources they have available, and the ways they offer to get involved.

More in Common
Their mission: “More in Common’s mission is to understand the forces driving us apart, to find common ground and help to bring people together to tackle our shared challenges. We draw from groundbreaking research to test and find solutions, working with partners that have the capacity to make a real difference at scale. And we help build the larger field of efforts to strengthen democratic societies against the threats of polarization and division.”
Learn more: Their new initiative, Democracy for President, offers useful talking points on a variety of questions people might have about why their vote matters, what motivates people to vote, and safety concerns related to COVID-19.

Civic Alliance
Their mission: “As a growing coalition of businesses, we strengthen our democracy by supporting safe, healthy and trusted elections, and by inspiring our employees and customers to participate in civic life. We aspire for historic voter turnout in 2020 and beyond, with a goal to achieve 80% voter turnout by 2028.”
Learn more: The Civic Alliance created a pledge, signed by more than 500 CEOs (including ours), that promises they will 1) call for safe access to the polls for all voters, 2) recognize state and local officials as the trusted source for certified results, and 3) encourage patience as officials count every vote. To see the full list of signatories, check out the pledge here.

Keep Our Republic
Their mission: “We aim to discover, highlight and help to prevent an array of extraordinary threats to the integrity of the 2020 Election and Transition. Our civic creed is: Let all citizens vote. Let all votes be counted. Let the count stand.”
Learn more: Among the list of educational resources on their site is a list of op-eds, including one in the Washington Post from Tom Daschle and Bill Frist—both former majority leaders in the Senate, one a Democrat, one a Republican—about why voting results might take longer this year.


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