In 2011, the WDN Election Integrity Action Circle re-launched its work in response to the assault on the right to vote in dozens of states across the country.
A report by the Brennan Center for Justice estimated that more than 5 million voters would be affected by changes in voting laws – some of which were passed so quickly that no one knew exactly what their impact would be on the election cycle.
From 2011-2012, the Election Integrity Circle focused on informing the WDN network about critical issues in the field of voter protection and engagement, and strategically funding in areas where the Circle could have impact in helping to ensure that all citizens have a voice in our democracy.
The Election Integrity Action Circle has had a rich history of impact, including a campaign in October of 2006 combating voter fraud that raised $250,000 in less than a month. Called “Count Hackula,” after the fictional character used in the non-partisan ad campaign, the effort impacted some of the most hotly contested races in the country and was one of the most popular strategies undertaken by WDN.
The Circle’s 2012 educational activities focused on voter protection work, a series of calls on the Rising American Electorate, and funding strategies to address gaps in civic engagement and election integrity efforts.
In 2012, the Election Integrity Circle raised $124,000 to fully fund a new smartphone app for election protection that launched in August 2012.
The Circle leveraged not only the philanthropic resources of WDN members, but their experience, expertise, and relationships as well, with the goal of helping to build long-term Election Integrity infrastructure, and thus strengthen the progressive movement.
In 2013, the Election Integrity Circle merged with the Progressive Political Infrastructure Circle to incorporate an intersectional lens on voter rights and engagement into WDN’s work on building a progressive infrastructure. The merger of these two Circles reflects the vision that election protection work is a key element in a healthy democracy, and not limited to election years.