I couldn’t be prouder of the League this election season. During my travels to nine states before the elections, I saw firsthand the incredible work done by local Leagues and their volunteers — registering tens of thousands of new voters, providing nonpartisan information on the candidates through millions of printed and online voters’ guides, and holding hundreds of candidate debates seen and heard by thousands over the course of the campaign.
Our examination of this year’s election has brought to light two major players during this election season that demand our immediate attention: secret money and incivility.
When the Supreme Court ruled on the Citizens United case earlier this year, huge amounts of secret money were turned loose in American politics. Congress’ failure to act and pass the DISCLOSE Act only added to this problem.
As a result, not surprisingly, voters were overwhelmed by millions of dollars in negative ads this year but didn’t know who paid for many of them. Leagues across the country have been calling on their elected officials to support the DISCLOSE Act, which would require corporations and unions to disclose the dollars they spend in elections.
With the 2012 presidential election season having already begun on November 3, the League will continue to address the other major issue this election season — incivility. The tone of the 2010 campaign exhibited a disturbingly new low in American politics. Not only was this evident in the expensive advertising, but we also saw it in candidate debates and forums and in the public discourse.
As we have for the past 90 years, the League will continue to help our fellow citizens discuss the issues in a civil and fact-based way and fight for transparency, accountability, and disclosure in America’s elections!
Voters, not money, should be at the center of our democracy.
League of Women Voters