The American people expect candidates to play by the rules.
Free, fair, and secure elections are the cornerstone of American democracy. Our government’s legitimacy relies upon the “consent of the governed,” expressed through elections. We stand at a pivotal moment for our nation, as misinformation, threats of violence, and interference undermine faith in our democratic system and place our national security at risk. Amidst these efforts to sow discord around our elections, even poll workers have become targets of violence and intimidation. This is not how elections are supposed to work, especially in the nation that invented modern democracy. While these dynamics have the potential to undermine the very foundation of our government, more and more Americans are standing up for our democracy. They are looking to their leaders to do the same.
We are asking candidates to lead by example.
Candidates who agree to the Candidate Principles for Trusted Elections uphold five core doctrines of democratic elections: integrity, nonviolence, security, oversight, and the peaceful transfer of power. Voters and organizations can lend their names to these principles, telling candidates to lead by example to help restore trust in elections.
Candidate Principles for Trusted Elections
I respect the checks and balances defined in the United States Constitution, and I support the electoral processes that protect the freedoms, liberties, and opportunities assured by our democratic institutions and norms. Elections must be conducted according to the rule of law - in a transparent, unbiased, and secure process.
As a candidate, I am guided by the following principles:
Cooperate with election officials, adhere to rules and regulations, and refrain from knowingly propagating falsehoods about the electoral process.
Encourage a peaceful election atmosphere during the pre-election, polling, counting, and post-election periods. Denounce any attempt to intimidate, harass, threaten or incite violence against opponents, their supporters, and election workers.
Respect voters' freedom to exercise their lawful rights to register and vote, free from interference, obstruction, or intimidation.
Encourage political parties and others to train poll-watchers on the election process and appropriate roles and behaviors, responsibilities, and obligations.
Make claims of election irregularities in accordance with the law and acknowledge the legitimacy of the outcomes after the results have been certified and all contestations decided.
Anyone Can Support the Candidate Principles for Trusted Elections
By lending your voice to the Candidate Principles, you're demonstrating your support for electoral processes that protect the freedoms, liberties, and opportunities assured by our democratic institutions.
Agree to the Candidate Principles and demonstrate your commitment to free, fair, and secure elections.
Support the Candidate Principles and help restore public trust in elections.
Ask your candidates to lead by example and agree to the Candidate Principles and speak out on behalf of fair and peaceful elections to your family and social network.
About the Coalition for Trusted Elections
The Coalition for Trusted Elections is comprised of nonpartisan organizations working together to support free, fair, and secure elections. Coalition partners lead efforts to promote the Candidate Principles for Trusted Elections in local, state, and federal elections nationwide.
The Carter Center
R Street Institute
Election Reformers Network
More in Common
Cohen Institute for Leadership
SC Small Business Chamber of Commerce
New Mexico Chamber of Commerce
The Rooney Center
Down Home North Carolina
Common Cause North Carolina
The Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress
American Sustainable Business Network
National Institute on Civil Discourse
Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate
Supporters of the Candidate Principles are organizations and individuals who agree that candidates for public office should lead by example and uphold the core doctrines of democratic elections: integrity, nonviolence, security, oversight, and the peaceful transfer of power.
Supporting the principles does not connote endorsement of individual candidates who agree to uphold the principles.
Supporters of the Candidate Principles include: