Who We Are & What We Do
The Safe Elections Network was formed in the spring of 2020 in response to the threats that COVID-19 poses to our core democratic institution: our elections. The Network is made up of organizations from across the state, spanning an array of issue areas, that came together to pass legislation to expand mail voting and safe in-person voting options. Since then, the Network has focused our efforts and attention on ensuring that all eligible voters in the Commonwealth know their options and can cast a ballot that is counted, safely.
The Safe Elections Network is fighting to address challenges that COVID-19 poses to robust and participatory and equitable elections. These include suppressed voter registration, understaffing at polls, polling location closures, and the risk that Massachusetts’ Black and POC communities who have been most affected by the virus will also be those who face inordinate barriers to safe participation. At the same time, the Network has coalesced around a shared understanding that significant and disproportionate barriers to political participation for BIPOC and low-income communities are long-standing in our state. The Safe Elections Network is committed to amplifying these voices at every opportunity.
The Safe Elections Network organized and fought to pass An Act Relative to COVID-19, expanding mail-in voting, early-voting, and safe-voting options in the Commonwealth. We also worked with election officials and legislatures to ensure that the Act included reforms that ease administrative burdens and keep elections workers safe.
Voter Education and Registration
We want all voters to understand their options for casting a ballot safely this fall. To that end, we run phone and text banks, train-the-trainers, social media campaigns, and ad campaigns so that Bay Staters - especially BIPOC, low-income, young, and elderly voters - know their options, get registered and can cast a ballot safely.
Poll Worker Recruitment
In many states, poll worker shortages have resulted in the consolidation of polling locations and long lines on Election Day. We are working with organizations and election officials to ensure that the polls are staffed safely so that they can remain open and make sure Bay Staters can vote on Election Day.
Led by Common Cause and Lawyers for Civil Rights, we disseminate information about the Election Protection hotline 1 (866)-OUR-VOTE to key demographics and regions. These Election Protection efforts include recruiting volunteers to run the hotline, conducting social media monitoring, and serving as roving poll monitors on Election Day. Organizations within the Network are also working to protect and promote ballot access for eligible incarcerated voters in the Commonwealth.
Troubleshoot and voter access, Research and Report
We work with voters to answer questions about mail and in-person voting. We collect key information from voters and election officials about challenges and successes during the 2020 elections so that stakeholders can gain a clear understanding of Massachusetts’ response to COVID-19, and challenges and triumphs of our elections infrastructure - both before and after COVID-19.