Newsletter: 2023 Was a Historic Year for American Democracy

December 2023 2 min read by The CEIR Team

Friends and colleagues,

2023 was a productive year of growth for our team at the Center for Election Innovation & Research (CEIR), and I want to thank CEIR’s partners, supporters, and staff for all their hard work to maximize the impact of our organization.

Generally speaking, “off” election years are supposed to be quiet in our field – a time for planning and recuperation. 2023 had other plans.

Just in the past few days, the news of the Colorado Supreme Court made history by ruling that Donald J. Trump is disqualified from running for President of the United States because he led the January 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Our team also lifted up best practices in election administration by releasing original research this week, including a new analysis about states’ ability to count votes faster by pre-processing mail ballots.

Here are some other highlights of which I am especially proud:

Brad Raffensperger, Georgia Secretary of State, left, greets Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) as Kyung Lah of CNN looks on during the Summit on American Democracy on Monday, May 8, 2023 in Washington. (Eric Kayne/AP Images for The Center for Election Innovation & Research)

In May, CEIR hosted the Summit on American Democracy in Washington, D.C., which featured a riveting discussion, “Preserving our democracy in the age of disinformation,” between award-winning journalist, Kyung Lah of CNN, Georgia Secretary of State, Brad Raffensperger, and Maryland U.S. Representative, Jamie Raskin.


We released a series of short videos to debunk disinformation and help voters, journalists and policymakers, better understand developments in election administration. Watch this video from a month ago, where I explain why it’s important to have clarity on Trump’s candidacy in light of the Fourteenth Amendment, ahead of the 2024 elections.

Subscribe to CEIR’s YouTube channel to catch the new explainer videos we will publish in 2024.

EOLDN Legal and Communications help for election officials

Lastly, we conducted nationwide outreach through The Election Official Legal Defense Network, our project designed to connect elections officials in need of advice or assistance with licensed, qualified, pro bono attorneys and communications professionals, at no cost.

We want those who administer our country’s elections to know that help is available for them if they ever receive threats or harassment at work, and we constantly seek to make our network of attorneys stronger. If you or someone you know could benefit from – or help – EOLDN, sign up here to keep in touch with the project in 2024. (

As all of you are well aware, the Iowa Caucuses are set to begin on January 15th, only a few weeks from now. 2024 is not expected to be quiet, and it will most certainly make unprecedented American history. Thank you for being with us as we move forward together.

David Becker
Executive Director
The Center for Election Innovation & Research

Data Dive: Pre-Processing Mail Ballots

Processing absentee or mail ballots before election day helps promote administrative efficiency and reinforce election integrity. In their latest blog, members of the Research Team summarize the timelines that different states use for two key components of processing – envelope processing and ballot scanning.

Read now


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