In response to election coverage, I issued this statement —headlined, “Democracy Demands That We Count Every Vote.” As we watch our democracy in action this week, I want to encourage you all to stay confident that we will make sure every vote is counted.  

More Americans voted in this election than in the last 100 years. This is historic and reason enough for every vote to be counted.  

This election is also much more than choosing our next president and vice president – in states, cities and counties across the country, people voted for representation and equity. We cannot ignore that cultural and systemic change can happen where we live – from judgeships to town clerks to county boards and commissions, our votes determine our future.   

A record number of Native American womenBlack womenLatinx women and LGBTQIA+ candidates ran for office this year, and this article from The Lily reports on some early election results. In New York, for example, Ritchie Torres and Mondaire Jones will become the first openly gay Black members of Congress, and Delaware’s Sarah McBride became the first openly transgender state senator in the U.S. Cori Bush, a Black Lives Matter organizer, became the first Black woman elected to Congress from Missouri.  

A number of policy reforms that change systemic structures have also passed. California voted to restore voting rights to previously incarcerated individuals and law enforcement reform policies passed in Portland and San Francisco that aim to end corruption and move towards community-based modes of policing. 

These victories matter because representation and true policy reform are imperative to helping us march towards progress – we must continue to strive to elect people who truly represent us and the communities that we are from into office because they will work towards making our communities stronger and more equitable.  

As we face challenges in the next year, we remain committed to NOW’s core agenda.  Our experience at coalition building, grassroots organizing and issue advocacy will be needed more than ever as we navigate our way through a new balance of power. 

I hope you’ll stay strong, stay focused and stay positive in the coming days as we push for a full, fair vote count.