CAPA21 Chair Glen S. Fukushima and President Dale Minami have signed on to a nonpartisan appeal for the rule of law to be upheld during the 2020 election process.
The statement calls on those in positions of public responsibility to “take all necessary measures to safeguard the election process so that all Americans can have confidence in the ultimate outcome.”
It also urges all Americans “to exercise patience, civility, and restraint, so that the results of the elections can be determined in accordance with the rule of law and peacefully accepted by the American people.”
The statement is issued on behalf of a diverse group of civic leaders reflecting a broad cross-section of American society. Signatories are drawn from the legal profession, private sector, higher education, philanthropy, labor, faith-based organizations, think tanks, and retired military and government service.
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A Joint Appeal to Protect the Rule of Law in the 2020 U.S. Elections
As the framers of the Declaration of Independence recognized, governments derive “their just powers from the consent of the governed.” That consent is expressed through free and fair elections and their corollary: the orderly and peaceful determination and implementation of the results. These are among the principles that stand at the heart of the rule of law under the U.S. constitutional order.
In recent weeks, concerns have been raised in various quarters about the security and integrity of the upcoming U.S. elections and the possibility that the results would not be honored. Given such concerns, it is essential that those in positions of public responsibility take all necessary measures to safeguard the election process so that all Americans can have confidence in the ultimate outcome.
We therefore call on public officials to ensure that:
- All who are entitled to vote are able to do so safely and securely, whether in person or through other authorized means, and without interference or intimidation;
- All ballots are counted in accordance with a lawful, accountable, efficient, and well-organized process;
- Authorized election observers enjoy adequate access to polling places and other election facilities; and
- Election disputes are resolved in a fair, open, and orderly way in accordance with the law.
We call on all citizens to respect the rights of free expression, media freedom, and peaceful assembly before, during, and after the election, and we call on members of the media, including social media, to exercise their important role responsibly and in accordance with professional standards of accuracy, fairness, and truthfulness.
We also call on all eligible voters to cast their vote in a timely manner, whether in person or by mail. Voters should expect that there may be delays at the polls and that it may take time — especially given the challenges posed by the pandemic — for all ballots to be counted and official results to be confirmed. Some jurisdictions may experience procedural difficulties in voting and vote tabulation. Such circumstances may give rise to litigation and public demonstrations after Election Day. We urge those in leadership positions to encourage peaceful participation in the election process and to condemn any threats or acts of violence. We also urge all Americans to exercise patience, civility, and restraint, so that the results of the elections can be determined in accordance with the rule of law and peacefully accepted by the American people.