Celebrating Election Workers, the Frontline Heroes of American Democracy
By Natasha Lesser, Vice President
2020 has been a year to celebrate unsung everyday heroes: doctors, nurses, teachers, grocery store workers, moms. An unprecedented election created an opportunity to add another group to this pantheon: election workers. On November 2, 2020, America marked the first-ever Election Hero Day, an occasion to honor the people risking their lives during a pandemic to ensure a safe, accessible election process and the continuation of our democracy.
A non-partisan initiative backed by an array of public officials, nonprofit groups, and companies from across the nation, including Civic Alliance, Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights, the National Conference on Citizenship, National League of Cities, and the YMCA, among others, Election Hero Day is a celebration of our election administrators, officials, poll workers, and municipal clerks for their determination to keep our elections safe, accessible, and transparent.
Amidst COVID-19 and endless rhetoric about voting fraud, election workers had to double their efforts to deliver for our democracy, often working upwards of 20-hour days. From overcoming an unprecedented poll worker shortage to processing record numbers of absentee ballots, community members and election administrators from both parties adapted our already robust election infrastructure to ensure that voters could cast their ballots safely and successfully. Along with communications agencies from around the country, The Hatcher Group was proud to step up and provide pro bono support to help the coalition behind Election Hero Day with media outreach, partner engagement, and social media to get the word out about this important effort.
Hatcher focused on engaging media and stakeholders at the local level in coordination with the broader national outreach campaign. We began by identifying states to target, which included Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Georgia, North Carolina, Florida, and Arizona, among others, and reaching out to media outlets to inform them about Election Hero Day and connect them with poll workers and election administrators to interview. For example, in Green Bay, Wisconsin, secured coverage in multiple outlets of Mayor Eric Genrich’s press conference with the Green Bay Packers announcing November 2 as Election Hero Day and the team’s donation of fan gear to every local election worker.
We also connected with over 75 grassroots organizations to become partners in the campaign, providing them a social media toolkit to expand the reach of Election Hero Day. Many of these organizations posted content on social media (Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook) using the toolkit’s graphics and the hashtag #ThankYouElectionHeroes.
Through the coalition’s efforts, governors across the country (Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy, and others), secretaries of state, current and former government officials (such as former Secretary of Education Arne Duncan), mayors (Baltimore Mayor-Elect Brandon Scott, Milwaukee Mayor Jacob Frey, and Minneapolis Mayor Tom Barrett), celebrities (such as Jennifer Anniston, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Amanda Seyfried), and companies (including Patagonia, Levi Strauss & Co, and Uber) all showed their gratitude for our nation’s election workers.
A record number of Americans voted in the 2020 election – including over 100 million who participated in early voting – a milestone that would not have been possible without our election workers’ resilience and determination. Hatcher was proud to support this campaign to celebrate these critical workers who are the frontline heroes of American democracy.