“So how did we reach a point where outright election deniers came so perilously close to overseeing American elections? …That is the plan.”

– David Pepper

The Challenge: Election Deniers on the Move in the States

As election deniers continue to gain power in both local and national positions, the risk of voter intimidation and election disputes increases. This is the long game against democracy, and their impact will only grow as they learn from their successes and failures. 

To counter this threat, it is crucial to support pro-democracy candidates and organizations in order to protect the integrity of the electoral process and to stand up for voters and fair elections every step of the way.

Bottom line: We need people passionate about protecting

democracy and voting rights serving in the very positions where the opposition recruits election deniers. By taking on these roles, those who value democracy can protect it one voter, one precinct, and one election at a time.

The Solution: Getting to the Front Lines

While they vary based on what state you live in, here are some of the formal posts that we must populate with pro-democracy patriots:


Poll workers are the essential worker bees of American democracy. Through a variety of election day tasks, they ensure that each precinct runs smoothly and securely and that voters are guided through the voting process. Roles include poll judges or managers, who oversee a polling place, and clerks or workers, who staff a polling place.


Canvassing Boards play a crucial role in the American electoral process – serving as the gatekeepers who ensure the integrity/ accuracy of election results. These boards are often composed of representatives from the major political parties and review/validate the vote tallies from each precinct within their jurisdiction.


In many states, elections boards are charged with overseeing and operating elections, guided by state law and regulations. Again, board members are usually determined by party officials and selection processes. In Ohio, there are two members from each party on each county’s board—selected by the respective county parties.

Local or county election administrators, supervisors, and clerks

In some states, these positions are determined by election (either partisan or nonpartisan); in others, they are appointed by election boards or directly by political parties. When these posts are determined by elections, they can be low-profile affairs where a few hundred votes determine the winner.

Vote-by-mail processing work

In some states, political parties play a direct role in accepting or rejecting mail-in ballots. In Texas, for example, county-level Early Voting Ballot Board and Signature Verification Committees are appointed by the respective parties.

Ballot adjudicators

A variety of processes and positions are used to adjudicate ballots that are in dispute due to mistakes, overvotes, misspellings, and other issues. In Georgia, for example, Vote Review Panels (comprised of representatives of the political parties and the election supervisor) adjudicate certain ballots to determine whether and how votes in question should be counted.

Volunteer Roles

While they vary based on what state you live in, here are some of the formal posts that we must populate with pro-democracy patriots:


State and national Democratic parties operate voter hotlines to answer voter questions and troubleshoot issues that arise on election day or during early voting. The more volunteers there are to staff these hotlines, the smoother elections go.


In many states, state and county parties appoint volunteers to monitor the opening, scanning, processing, and/or counting of ballots, as well as election recounts.


These are observers appointed by state or county parties (or sometimes candidates) to monitor in-person voting at polling places—either during early voting or on Election Day.


Particularly in high-volume elections, there are often thousands of voters whose vote-by-mail ballot has been rejected because of a technical defect (such as a mismatched signature or failure to provide ID) who are thus required to take steps to “cure” that ballot for it to be counted.


Volunteers can play an important role in monitoring those conversations and decisions by attending local election board meetings, monitoring election administration decisions, and building relationships with local election officials.


Check with your local party on how to get involved. Your involvement (in any capacity) makes a difference in advancing democracy. Be sure to bring an equity lens to your work and prioritize underserved communities that may face greater challenges, even if it requires more time and effort. And get involved in primary, special, or municipal elections as well, not just November general elections.

Additional Resources

Secretary of State Races

Democratic Association of Secretaries of State

Election Protection Roles

Power the Vote
Poll Worker Info
Poll Watcher Info
Power the Polls
League of Women Voters
NAACP Legal Defense Fund
Vet the Vote