2022 in Review
A Note from David Becker, CEIR Executive Director
This has been an eventful year for American democracy and the professional election officials who give voters a voice. We spent much of the year dealing with ongoing lies about the integrity of our elections, which fueled further threats and harassment of election officials, and the successful primary campaigns of several prominent election deniers who ran on a platform of subverting elections. Major Garrett of CBS News and I wrote about these threats and the potential for ongoing damage to our democracy in our book, The Big Truth: Upholding Democracy in the Age of the Big Lie, released this fall.
But the year ended on a more hopeful note. Election deniers were largely defeated, losing every closely-contested race. Many of them even conceded, and as we enter the last week of 2022, Arizona stands out as the only state where election losers are challenging legitimate and verified outcomes (and by the time Christmas comes, even those challenges could be over). Electoral Count Act reform, clarifying that Congress and the Vice-President preside over a ministerial counting of the votes, without the power to overturn the will of the voters, seems poised to pass in the lame-duck session. And perhaps most importantly, even with the leader of the election denial movement having declared his candidacy for the presidency in 2024, we are marching on a steady path to accountability for those weakening our democracy. Investigations by the Department of Justice (with the appointment of a Special Counsel) and in the states proceed, lawyers like Rudy Giuliani who assisted efforts to subvert the election are being brought before bar disciplinary boards, and the January 6th Select Committee referred criminal charges to the DOJ.
So there is much to be thankful for this season. Our democracy is stronger, and more resilient, than it was just two short months ago. But we are not out of the woods. The damage that has been done over the last several years has taken a terrible toll on voters, election officials, and democracy writ large. Ensuring that our democracy continues to be robust, accessible, and secure in the next two years will take a lot of work, from a lot of people and organizations, across the country and the political spectrum. And we here at the Center for Election Innovation & Research are dedicated to doing our part, supporting election officials and informing the public. Thank you all for being such a big part of our work!
All of us at CEIR wish you a healthy and recharging holiday season and a happy new year!
P.S. Your commitment to CEIR has allowed us to offer much needed support for election officials throughout the US and support our collective work to preserve democracy. Please consider including CEIR, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, in your year end giving.
Our Top 2022 Moments
Defenders of Democracy Awards
“Election officials and others stood strong, spreading the truth that the 2020 election was the most secure, transparent, and verified election in American history, and in the face of a global pandemic and record turnout, election officials oversaw the greatest triumph of democracy in American history.” – David Becker
CEIR presented the 2022 Defenders of Democracy Awards in July, designed to recognize election officials and others who showed exemplary courage and leadership to defend democracy – while under enormous pressure – against efforts to undermine the democratic process before, during, and after the 2020 U.S. election.
The event featured honorees dedicated to protecting U.S. democracy, many of whom served as witnesses at the January 6 Committee Hearings. The ceremony recognized January 6th Hearing witnesses such as Al Schmidt, Former City Commissioner of Philadelphia, Brad Raffensperger, Georgia Secretary of State, Gabriel Sterling, Chief Operating Officer in the office of the Georgia Secretary of State, and Judge J. Michael Luttig.
The Election Official Legal Defense Network Launches Communications Support for Public Servants Under Siege
“…we consistently heard from our clients that they not only need legal help, but they also need advice and support when it comes to disinformation attacks designed to injure their public reputations and impede their work.” – David Becker
The Election Official Legal Defense Network (EOLDN), a project of CEIR, launched a new program in September 2022, designed to give communications assistance to election officials, many of whom are facing unprecedented levels of abuse, attacks, and threats. The program complements the ongoing work of EOLDN to give pro bono legal assistance to election officials.
This combined communications and legal service is available to any election official, completely free of charge. This service is available whether they need it for planning, rapid response, or anything in between.
The Big Truth
“…one of the most definitive accounts of what really happened in 2020 and essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the depths and nuances of the challenges facing our American democracy and what we can collectively do to overcome them.” – Jocelyn Benson
This fall, David Becker, Executive Director of the Center for Election Innovation & Research, and CBS’s Chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett, provide a fact-driven counter to President Trump’s Big Lie about 2020 election fraud, and examine its potentially dire consequences for the 2024 elections and beyond in their book The Big Truth: Upholding Democracy in the Age of the Big Lie. Called “a thoughtful consideration of how and why to protect the vote – and, with it, American democracy,” by Kirkus Reviews, The Big Truth goes beyond analyzing the key players, pre-election litigation, and the ballots used. They lay bare the methods being undertaken right now to undercut faith, belief, and effectiveness of elections.
CEIR in the 2022 News