Our latest book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. Among other things, it discusses state and local elections.
Scores of rightwing extremists were defeated in school board elections in April, in a victory for the left in the US and what Democrats hope could prove to be a playbook for running against Republicans in the year ahead.In Illinois, Democrats said more than 70% of the school board candidates it had endorsed won their races, often defeating the kind of anti-LGBTQ+ culture warrior candidates who have taken control of school boards across the country.
Republican-backed candidates in Wisconsin also fared poorly. Moms for Liberty, a rightwing group linked to wealthy Republican donors which has been behind book-banning campaigns in the US, said only eight of its endorsed candidates won election to school boards, and other conservative groups also reported disappointing performances.
Despite prevailing narratives following the 2022 election, more anti-democracy actors were elected to office last year. At the local level, where officials’ hands are literally and figuratively closest to our ballots, potential threats are growing in number and strength.
In 2022, challenges to our democracy were widespread at the local level and carried out by the people we entrust with the responsibility for administering our elections.
These threats are growing in strength as misguided officials continue to peddle lies about non-existent fraud, probe for vulnerabilities in election law and process, and undermine public confidence about the security of future elections.
Our report looks at 204 of these officials, as a part of our effort to shine a spotlight on the people and processes that determine how our votes are counted and elections certified.