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"Count Every Vote": Coalition Against Disinformation Pens Open Letter To Press

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NEW YORK, Nov. 2, 2020 -- In an interview with George Stephanopoulos on Sunday, senior Trump campaign advisor Jason Miller said that "President Trump will be ahead on election night... and then [Democrats are] going to try to steal it back after the election." A few hours later, Axios's Jonathan Swan reported that "President Trump has told confidants he'll declare victory on Tuesday night if it looks like he's 'ahead.'"

In American elections, there is no winner until every vote is counted. In 1960, 1968, 1976, 2000, 2004, and 2016, there was no clear winner on election night. And all things considered, we should expect this year to be no different.

Donald Trump and his campaign officials have made their plans clear: they will declare victory on Election Night and then fight to throw out as many ballots as they can, especially in key swing districts that are trending blue.

In response, the media must make a choice: either you will aid the Trump campaign in this cynical and extremely dangerous corruption of American democracy, or you will tell the truth.

We understand that the media must cover what Trump says on Election Night. This does not mean that you must do so without proper context. Trump plans to subvert the electoral process and, if he can, he will use you to help him do it. Chyrons, headlines, and live anchor reports repeating "Trump declares victory" will fill a vacuum of uncertainty with disinformation, when what we really need is clarity.

Everyone in this business knows how counting  votes and calling an election works. As Jake Tapper wrote on Sunday: "Every legally cast ballot should be counted, no campaign should seek to disenfranchise legal voters who follow the rules, and there should be nothing controversial about either of those assertions." 

This decision now falls to you: to describe objective reality and report what's actually happening, or not. To cover the process and laws and explain why final results might be delayed, or not. To remind the American people -- your audience -- that there is no winner until every vote is counted.

There is no middle ground. There aren't two sides to this story. This isn't partisan or political or biased. This is the truth, and the truth matters. The future of our democracy will be impacted by you and your colleagues sharing the truth with the American public.
Run for Something
Trans United Fund
MomsRising Together
Men4Choice Advocacy
New Leaders Council
Asian American Advocacy Fund
National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund
New American Leaders Action Fund
DemCast USA
National Women's Law Center Action Fund
Art Not War
Bend the Arc: Jewish Action
Common Defense
Caring Majority Rising
Virus Free Voting
Stand Up Republic
Poder Latinx
Public Wise
Women Who Tech
Rad Campaign
The Gaia Project for Women's Leadership
Field Team 6
Progress Now Colorado
Progress Texas
Georgia AFL-CIO
Represent GA Action Network, Inc
Northridge Indivisible
Indivisible Georgia Coalition
Showing Up for Racial Justice Georgia
Indivisible Austin
Fair Shot Texas PAC
Indivisible CA-33
Represent GA Action Network, Inc
Indivisible SF
Indivisible South Bay LA
Indivisible Beach Cities
SoCAL Blue
Indivisible San Jose
Indivisible Sonoma County
Protect the Results Sonoma
Indivisible Kansas City
ISAIAH, Minnesota
Faith in Minnesota
Indivisible Yolo

CONTACT: Cat Crandall, [email protected]