WASHINGTON, Oct. 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- A bipartisan group of more than 40 former elected officials, former Cabinet secretaries, retired military officials, and civic leaders called the National Council on Election Integrity has formed to defend the legitimacy of our elections and ensure that every American's vote is counted in 2020, Issue One announced today.
The National Council on Election Integrity — which includes individuals who have advised presidents, former party leaders, and heads of some of the largest civic organizations in the country — has launched "Count Every Vote," a new $20 million public education campaign highlighting the country's ability to hold safe and secure elections during the coronavirus pandemic and stressing that all citizens' votes must be counted, regardless of whom they vote for.
This effort begins with a $4 million TV and digital ad buy. The Count Every Vote campaign's TV ads will be airing nationally, including in the battleground states of Arizona, Georgia, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Digital ads will begin running in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.
"Americans have always found a way to vote and make their voices heard," states the new TV ad. "Help make sure every vote is counted — no matter who you voted for … While this election might feel different, we all call America home."
The Count Every Vote campaign also encourages citizens to sign a pledge at CountEveryVote.org that demands that every vote cast in accordance with applicable laws is counted this November.
Moreover, the National Council is urging Congress to create a bipartisan national commission to help reassure the American public about the integrity of our elections by identifying weaknesses in our elections systems and issuing recommendations to strengthen the resiliency of our election systems and processes.
"The most urgent task American leaders face is to ensure that the election's results are accepted as legitimate. Electoral legitimacy is the essential linchpin of our entire political culture," said former Director of National Security Dan Coats (R-IN).
Added former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (R-NE): "For centuries, the United States has defended itself from our enemies. We must do so again this year by holding elections that are free, fair, honest, safe, and secure."
Added former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta (D-CA): "The bipartisan National Council on Election Integrity will defend the legitimacy of our elections. Every American should have faith that together we, as a nation, can and will reject any effort to undermine our democratic process."
Added former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD): "This election is about more than who's on the ballot. The integrity of our democratic system is at stake. That's why the National Council on Election Integrity is sponsoring a new, bipartisan public education campaign to ensure that every vote cast in accordance with applicable laws is counted in 2020."
Added former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN): "This new bipartisan public education campaign will remind voters of our history of holding successful elections during challenging times. Our country can overcome the public health challenges of the coronavirus pandemic to hold successful elections this year, elections in which every vote is counted and people don't have to choose between their health and exercising their right to vote."
The full list of members of the National Council on Election Integrity — which includes 17 Republicans and 16 Democrats as well as several retired military leaders and heads of civic organizations — is as follows:
- former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright
- former Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA)
- former Democratic National Committee Chair Donna Brazile
- former Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan (D-MO)
- retired Gen. James Cartwright, former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
- former Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff
- former Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats (R-IN)
- former Rep. Barbara Comstock (R-VA)
- former Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL)
- former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD)
- former Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD)
- former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN)
- former House Majority Leader Dick Gephardt (D-MO)
- former Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson (R-KY)
- former Rep. Steve Gunderson (R-WI)
- former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (R-NE)
- former Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-IN)
- former Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA)
- former Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
- National Vote At Home Institute CEO Amber McReynolds
- former Secretary of Transportation Norm Mineta (D-CA)
- former Rep. Susan Molinari (R-NY)
- former Amb. Connie Morella (R-MD)
- National Urban League President and CEO Marc Morial
- UnidosUS President and CEO Janet Murguía
- Dr. Lori Esposito Murray, president of the Committee for Economic Development
- former Rep. Sue Myrick (R-NC)
- former Rep. David Obey (D-WI)
- retired Adm. Bill Owens, former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
- former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta (D-CA)
- former Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-OH)
- former Rep. Jim Renacci (R-OH)
- former Rep. Reid Ribble (R-WI)
- former Gov. Tom Ridge (R-PA), former Secretary of Homeland Security
- former Amb. Tim Roemer (D-IN)
- retired Adm. Michael Rogers, former director of the National Security Agency
- former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar (D-CO)
- former Republican National Committee Chair Michael Steele
- former Rep. Zach Wamp (R-TN)
- former Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA)
- former Sen. Tim Wirth (D-CO)
SOURCE Issue One