Democracy Defended captures and analyzes election-related activities undertaken by LDF during the 2020 election season, including our Prepared to Vote (PTV) — a nonpartisan voter education and advocacy initiative — and Voting Rights Defender — a year-round effort to identify voter suppression and take decisive action to eliminate them — programs. It provides documentation of barriers faced by Black voters in PTV/VRD focus states and solutions for policy makers, election administrators, and community members to implement to ensure fair access to the vote in future elections.
Our organizing and election monitoring operations had components with national scope, but focused primarily on 10 states — Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Texas — most of which were subject to Section 5 Voting Rights Act oversight before the Shelby County v. Holder decision by the Supreme Court.
To provide accurate and updated voter information during a year when voting procedures changed rapidly in response to the global pandemic, LDF launched its first-ever voting microsite. The site provides state-specific information for voters to check on deadlines, voting requirements, polling locations, and much more. It also provides voters with the ability to report incidents of voter suppression and intimidation.
Thanks in part to the essential work of our partners including the Poor People’s Campaign, Forward Justice, and the Election Protection Coalition run by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, PTV and VRD had a significant impact, resulting in the deployment of over 1,300 poll monitors and the recruitment—in partnership with LeBron James’ More Than A Vote—of 42,500 poll workers.
In addition to alerting election officials about instances of voter intimidation, LDF’s litigation team went to the courts to push back against instances of voter intimidation perpetrated by government officials.
Democracy Defended documents pre-election barriers to voting; state-specific litigation; information on voter issues reported by our trained nonpartisan poll monitors and remote monitors; state and county specific advocacy PTV/VRD teams undertook to counteract the barriers and issues identified; and data related to direct voter education.