It was standing-room-only at CPI’s first three statewide Election Integrity Summits in 2022.
The multi-day training conferences—in Atlanta, Phoenix, and Orlando—each drew hundreds of activists from all over the state, who showed up to learn how 2020’s election irregularities occurred and how to build the permanent, in-state oversight to prevent them from happening again.
These statewide summits support the goal of CPI’s Election Integrity Network (EIN) and its leader, CPI Senior Legal Fellow Cleta Mitchell—to make 2022 the year of election integrity.
The purpose of the conferences and the mission of the EIN is to build a permanent election integrity infrastructure in the states.
Attendees heard from Mitchell, one of the most experienced elections lawyers in the nation, CPI Senior Partner Mark Meadows, Jenny Beth Martin of Tea Party Patriots, Governor Ron DeSantis, CPI Chairman Sen. Jim DeMint, representatives from the Election Assistance Commission and allied think tanks, and a host of local and national election law and integrity experts.
One of the most incisive presenters was Lynn Taylor, president and co-founder of the Virginia Institute for Public Policy. Taylor worked closely with Mitchell and the EIN to build out a grassroots team of highly trained poll watchers and election workers heading into Virginia’s elections last fall.
Their “Virginia Model” proved so successful that it is now serving as the basis of EIN’s training all year at the six remaining Summits.
Summits also provide a detailed walkthrough of the step-by-step guidance EIN publication “The Citizens Guide to Building an Election Integrity Infrastructure.” (Download your free copy at www.whoscounting.us today.)
The location of the three summits, where some of 2020’s most egregious abuses of election law occurred, was no accident. However, the agendas were focused on the future. Sessions included:
- Recruiting and training poll workers and watchers
- Citizen oversight of voting systems
- Cleaning voter rolls
- Voter ID and legislative reforms
- Understanding absentee voting
- Protecting vulnerable voters (elderly, homeless, e.g.) from political operatives
- Forming local election integrity task forces
Hundreds of attendees pre-registered for the conferences—and many more walk-ins arrived for the useful, practical guidance these summits provided.
“I’ve learned all kinds of techniques and ideas,” said one Georgia attendee. “What I can do, how I can go about it, and also how I can get that information to other people so they can take action.”
An Arizona poll observer who came to the Phoenix Summit told us, “Things like this are more important than the six years I spent in the military.”
One of the most captivating moments of the conference was the screening of highlights from a new documentary by Citizens United titled “Rigged.” The documentary details the influence of the nearly half billion dollars that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife funneled through two 501(c)(3) organizations, then through key election offices in heavily Democratic areas in certain key states.
The Zuckerbergs’ philanthropy was not to protect election workers from COVID, but rather to “get out the vote” in neighborhoods most likely to vote Democrat. “Rigged” will be released in April.
The EIN will host additional summits in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Nevada in the spring of 2022.
To find out about future Election Integrity Summits in your state, check out www.whoscounting.us. On the site, you can also find episodes of the podcast “Who’s Counting? With Cleta Mitchell” and other resources.