February 11, 2022

Run. Vote. Work. Uphold Our Democracy.

Russ Feingold President

Russ Feingold
ACS President Russ Feingold

No matter what state you live in, this year’s mid-term elections will have a profound effect on our lives and on the direction of our country. When we go to the polls this November, we will be voting for positions that are critical to the functioning of our democracy, and I’m not just talking about congressional or gubernatorial races. In many states, voters will be casting ballots for state attorney general, secretary of state, district attorney, state judges and justices, and more.

The people elected to these positions are responsible for administering our elections, enforcing our states’ laws, and upholding the rule of law. That’s why it is so important that voters understand these positions and cast their ballots in these races. Too often, our election cycles are dominated by just a handful of races, with minimal attention paid to lesser known, but equally important races.

This is why ACS is launching our Run.Vote.Work. campaign, to increase voter engagement on down-ballot races, from encouraging people to run for these positions to educating voters about them.

Run.Vote.Work. is built in part on the impact of our State Attorneys General Project, which we established in 2017 to develop and disseminate legal resources and host programming and events examining the actions of state attorneys general and the emerging legal and policy issues they face. The State AG Project also highlights opportunities for law students and attorneys to advance their careers in public service in state attorney general offices.

We’re launching Run.Vote.Work. to bring even more attention to the importance of state attorneys general and to other elected officials and administrators. As part of this campaign, ACS chapters and working groups are encouraging people who have been historically excluded from consideration for elected positions to think about running for office or working for one of these elected officials. Diversity is just as important in these positions as it is on our courts. Attorneys general and secretaries of state inevitably bring their life experience to their work, which impacts everyone in their respective states. Our government institutions work best when they reflect the diversity of the American public.

We know the legitimacy of our democracy rests on every eligible voter having the opportunity to cast a ballot that is counted fairly. This is why we need election officials, from our local precinct poll workers to our secretaries of state, who are committed to upholding election laws and to the integrity of vote counting. Across the country, we’re witnessing a record number of election official retirements and a concerted attempt to pack these offices with proponents of “the Big Lie” and disinformation. We encourage our members to step up this year. Get involved with your local election administration office, speak out in support of officials performing this vital public service, and consider filling these important roles. It will take all of us to help make our democracy work and combat this unprecedented threat to our election security.

I encourage you to check out more information about Run.Vote.Work. on our website and to think about ways you can engage with down-ballot races and with election security efforts. Do you know someone who would make a good Secretary of State? Have you yourself thought of running for office? Have you thought about being a poll worker or an election official? And remember, if you don’t want to run for office, you can help the people in elected positions by working for them. You can also sign up on our website to be notified of future volunteer opportunities related to election security and voter protection.

This is such a consequential election year. The November elections will impact everything from our ability to fill federal court vacancies to deciding who will be in charge of administering the 2024 elections. It behooves all of us to ensure that people elected to be secretary of state, attorney general, and judges in our individual states are committed to the rule of law, to election security, and to protecting the guardrails of our democracy.

We are witnessing democracy’s moment of truth. Do we succumb to autocracy, or do we forge a genuinely multiracial democracy? This is no time to sit on the sidelines. We encourage you to get involved this election cycle, including with down-ballot races and in supporting local election administrators. Upholding democracy is our collective civic responsibility.