To Newsrooms Across America — Stand With Democracy

You have a huge responsibility. Only declare a winner when you are certain of the result.

What to know:

  • COVID-19 has Americans voting by mail in record numbers and these ballots can arrive after the election is over.
  • If newsrooms declare a winner too soon, they could get it wrong and threaten the election.
  • Tell news leaders not to declare a winner until they’re certain of the result — send them a direct message now.

Learn More about this cause:

Update:

Great news! Global Citizens have already sent over 1,500 letters to top news leaders across the country.

The Associated Press responded with an expert-informed plan on how they’ll declare a winner, and CBS also sent us their election coverage plans.

Since launching the campaign, we have teamed up with the election integrity colleagues at the National Task Force on Election Crises, who have also been pressuring the top news-makers, and the word from the experts is that the networks have responded and committed to not prematurely call the election.

They’ve told us that the Associated Press (AP) has also shared information with them and said “If our race callers cannot definitively say a candidate has won, we do not engage in speculation.”

In additional coverage, the New York Times's Ben Smith wrote a piece about Fox News’ decision desk that details how Fox News insulates its decision desk from pressure to avoid calling the election prematurely. Moreover, they continue to engage with reporters to discuss how they can appropriately navigate the challenges of Election Night 2020

But there are always October surprises and it is all of our collective responsibility to respect the integrity of every vote and be patient while election officials count the ballot. Sign our pledge here and do your part to ensure a fair and accurate election!

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This US election could be decided by a razor-thin margin, and if newsrooms declare a winner without complete certainty it could cast doubt on the outcome and spark confusion, fear and anger amongst an already divided public.

The US is the world’s largest economy and gives more international aid than any other country so calling the election prematurely could destabilize the United States and cause a ripple effect felt by millions worldwide.

The person who appears to be ahead on November 3 may not actually have won the election because an unprecedented 72 million people are choosing to mail-in their ballots, most of which can’t be counted until on or after Election Day. This is significant because it represents more than half of the total votes cast in 2016.

So we’re launching a campaign urging America’s most influential newsrooms to only declare a winner when they are certain of the result and it all starts with you: Global Citizens. Click above to send a note directly to the leaders of America’s most influential newsrooms — including Fox, CNN and NBC — and show them that there’s a groundswell of support for the integrity of every vote.  

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This election Global Citizen and Headcount have teamed up to encourage as many Americans as possible to vote on November 3. Our efforts are strictly non-partisan. To find out more visit the Just Vote campaign here.