Fighting the Good Fight to Protect Voter Rights

Fair Fight Action was founded in 2018 to promote free and fair elections, encourage voter participation, and educate voters about elections and the state of democracy. Fair Fight Action has deep roots in Georgia but maintains a national presence built upon connecting community at the local level to information about voting, as well as broader tangible strategy and action, with the aim of protecting the freedom to vote for the long term and shoring up our democracy. The organization is committed to a multilayered approach in its work, engaging in advocacy, organizing, voter protection, political outreach, litigation and data analysis to address issues that arise in accessing the ballot, with an eye to ensuring every voter can register to vote, cast their ballot, and have that ballot counted.

Voter suppression, particularly among voters of color, voters with disabilities, and both older adults and young voters, persists across the country—and anti-voting advocates continue to advance new, insidious policies in an attempt to camouflage their efforts to remove the votes (and voices) of those whose opinions and political power they fear.

Since its inception, Fair Fight Action has approached these efforts with clear eyes, and a deep tool chest of programs that help ensure that those who wish to undermine our democracy and silence voters’ voices fail. These efforts take many forms. Restrictive anti-voting legislation has been one major tool. Since the 2020 election, Fair Fight Action has worked tirelessly to monitor, and in many instances, combat the more than 1,000 anti-voter bills filed across the country.

Shameless attempts to legislate away the freedom to vote continue. In Georgia this year alone, anti-voter advocates and legislators have proposed more than 10 bills that would, among other things, remove Black democrats from boards of elections, rob boards of election of much needed funding, open county workers up to threats and never-ending sham ballot audits, and provide live-streaming video surveillance of voters casting their ballots. Fair Fight Action continues to monitor and combat these efforts in Georgia as a top priority, including fighting to ensure vote-by-mail ballots are available to all who need them, including older adults.

‘Anti-voter advocates often rely upon other less official routes to curtail the freedom to vote.’

Anti-voter advocates often rely upon other less official routes to curtail the freedom to vote. In the wake of 2020, election-related disinformation and conspiracy-theory fueled grassroots efforts meant to confuse, distract, and deter voters from making their voices heard continue to percolate. Fair Fight Action has worked tirelessly to monitor and understand these arguments, gauging both their efficacy and their saturation. In so doing, the organization has developed robust and effective strategies for disarming conspiracy theories, exposing the motivations of those who perpetrate them, and offering better, more factual, more engaging content. The organization also has documented and raised awareness about the bevy of anti-voter conspiracy theorists working from the local to the federal level to undermine our democratic systems.

In addition, Fair Fight Action has helped stand up, run, and support voter protection efforts in several key states across the country; supported allies looking to protect voters from undue criminalization and intimidation; litigated several important voting-rights issues; contacted hundreds of thousands of voters with reliable, accurate information about how to vote in relevant elections; and supported elections administration and elections workers.

While the 2022 midterm elections provided some indications that American democracy remains functional, it is still fragile. There have been heartwarming if modest improvements in some areas. Electoral Count Act Reform, a useful update to an outdated law (but a far cry from the much-needed Federal Voting Rights overhaul that Fair Fight Action has advocated so strongly for) recently passed the U.S. Congress and was signed into law by President Biden. Some pro-voting bills have been proposed in 2023 legislative sessions in states where pro-voting legislators hold a majority.

The work to protect our democracy, and to preserve and strengthen the freedom to vote is, however, far from over. If anything, the 2022 election cycle showed how high the stakes are, and the perpetual, exhausting lengths anti-voter conspiracy theorists are willing to go to claim and retain power. Anti-democratic actors will not rest, and so the work of those seeking to protect voters must continue with equal vigor and vigilance.

Fair Fight Action is looking to the future—both to key elections that will occur in places like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Kentucky, Mississippi and Virginia this year, and, of course, the fast-approaching 2024 election cycle. The organization is building up resources and capacity to do everything it can to iterate, improve, and build the sustainable infrastructure necessary to continue to protect the freedom to vote for all voters.

But Fair Fight Action cannot do this critical work alone. To that end, Fair Fight Action always welcomes volunteers and supporters looking to assist in the critical work of protecting democracy. Those interested in getting involved this year and beyond can always visit our site here and sign up to be notified of upcoming opportunities. Individuals interested in donating to support Fair Fight Action’s work can do so here

Fair Fight Action’s volunteers and grassroots donors truly make the work possible—and the organization is honored that tens of thousands of people across the country are willing to take time out of their lives to assist voters and protect our democracy. The volunteer community is warm, inviting and full of people who understand how critical the current moment is.

With your support, the call of history, and the will of the voters pushing it forward, Fair Fight Action goes into 2023 with hope, with determination and with full awareness of the difficulties that lie ahead. If you, too, are interested in protecting the freedom to vote, consider joining this effort—the road may be long, but the work is critical. Now is the moment for all of us to join together—our democracy needs us.

Zoe Chernicoff is director of Research and Policy at Fair Fight Action, and Eric Sapp is president of Public Democracy.

Photo: Scene from the NAACP-sponsored rally and march to the Georgia State Capitol June 15, 2020, focused on voting rights, police brutality adn criminal law reform.

Photo credit: Michael Scott Milner