New Campaign Launches to Ease Panic over Elections that Go Into 'Overtime'

Created: 07 April, 2024
2 min read

Photo Credit: Janine Robinson on Unsplash


The worse political polarization gets, the more anxiety people feel over close elections. Accusations surface about rigged processes, frustration builds when results aren't called on Election Night, threats against election workers surface, and errors in reporting are made.

The 2020 election cycle saw all of these things and more. To help calm peoples' fears and anxieties over another inevitably close election in 2024, the Election Reformers Network and Bridge Alliance have teamed up to create the Election Overtime Project. 

The sole purpose of the campaign is to help journalists, news hosts, pundits, and others prepare voters to understand how election processes work and not worry about close elections that may not be called the night of the election.

“Faith and trust in our elections is essential for the well-being of our democratic republic." said Election Reformers Network Executive Director Kevin Johnson. 

"For this reason, it is critical that journalists in today’s contentious and partisan political climate cover the intricacies of election law and procedures, so Americans accept the results whether their candidate wins or loses.”

The Election Overtime Project will focus on 6 battleground states. It will provide state-specific policy briefs on each state's election laws, their safeguards across election phases, and how procedures to check results work -- e.g. recounts and audits.

The organizers said program content will also include the principles that govern how courts consider and judge election challenges. Reporters, journalists, and news anchors will have access to media training and a host of commentators to support election night coverage. 

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The most important thing is that facts are prioritized over sensationalist headlines -- especially at a time when many voters already have little trust in the process and may be easily persuaded to question or deny the results. 

“An election can only be ‘proven flawed’ if there is evidence tested in court affecting more votes than the margin of victory,” said Johnson. “But that’s not intuitive to most voters, and it’s the kind of information election reporters need to be conveying to citizens.” 

Johnson and other program organizers say they will work closely with state election offices and election law experts to ensure complete and precise information in all materials.  

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