At ERN, we uplift reforms to ensure that post-election processes are protected from partisan manipulation. That means helping states comply with the new federal law on presidential election procedures, and backing “purely ministerial” provisions that take discretion away from party-appointees responsible for canvassing and certification. Trusted results also require an independent judiciary that can efficiently and fairly resolve election disputes. As polarization worsens, partisans of all stripes are trying to politicize state and federal courts. For these reasons, we also work to help protect judicial independence and to help citizens understand how election disputes are resolved.
This report summarizes the impact of the Electoral Count Reform Act on state law and provides six recommendations on what states need to look for—and potentially change.
“Close and contested” doesn’t mean “tainted and suspicious” – and it’s critical that Americans understand that difference.
With partisan tensions running high and trust in elections low, it's crucial that voters and journalists are aware of the procedures that election administrators and the courts have in place to fairly resolve disputes. Understanding these steps can help ensure that results are broadly accepted as legitimate, even when...
This model bill provides a template for states to create a task force to research and make recommendations regarding expanded capacity, professional independence in election administration, and dispute resolution.
The election certification process was thrown into the partisan fray in 2020 and 2022. ERN has conducted twin studies aimed at comparing the certification process domestically and abroad so that we can glean best practices and keep this important process neutral.
This post originally appeared in GOVERNING. Disregard for the judgments of courts is a sure sign that democracy is in trouble. Donald Trump's machinations after the Nov. 3 election centered, fundamentally, on overturning the many court rulings rejecting his claims of fraud. Channeling fomented partisan anger, Trump and his allies sought to replace the verdict...
ERN Executive Director Kevin Johnson speaks to the Role of Social Innovation in Democracy Conference hosted by Stanford Social Innovation Review. This conference took place March 16–18, 2023.
This article, which cites ERN’s policy brief on a replacement system for judicial elections, was originally published in the Wisconsin Examiner.
The nation is watching Wisconsin as a state Supreme Court race with major implications for democratic outcomes—at both state and national levels—becomes an all-out spending war on behalf of the liberal and conservative candidates. No one expects the record-breaking spending or heated partisan rhetoric to die down until the race in this crucial swing state is decided.
Statement from ERN Executive Director Kevin Johnson: Today, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Moore v. Harper. This case is about the Independent State Legislature (ISL) theory and whether state legislatures are subject to checks and balances when they pass state laws governing federal elections. The Court's decision has the potential to put more power...
As a result of the decentralized nature of elections in the United States, election administration structures vary greatly state-by-state. In ten states the state-level leadership is the responsibility of an election board or commission. These types of boards, if structured correctly, can reduce concerns about partisanship in election certification processes.