Another year has already come and gone. As we start to take down holiday decorations and recover from eating lots of sweet treats this season, it’s also time to reflect on our accomplishments from the past year.
If 2018 was a year of transformation for The Center for Election Science, 2019 was a year of building on the momentum we gained from our historic win in Fargo. We got a lot done this year, and it’s all thanks to you—our donors and supporters. We couldn’t do our work without you, and we appreciate your commitment to strengthening our elections!
Let’s take a look back on everything we achieved together this year.
January: Launched New Website
If you’ve been a CES supporter for a while, you probably remember our old website. It had lots of good information on it, but — there’s just no other way to say it — it was ugly. Thanks to supporters like you, we raised enough funds in 2018 to completely overhaul our website.
After months of development, we launched our brand new, polished website in January. Not only is it easier on the eyes, but it also includes advocacy tools to help you make change in your community!
March: Secured $1.8 Million Grant from Open Philanthropy Project
Following our victory that brought approval voting to its first city in the U.S., The Open Philanthropy Project awarded us a $1.8 million grant to continue our advocacy of approval voting. The grant will allow us to build on our efforts to empower voters through campaigns for better voting methods across the nation through 2021. We’re so grateful to Open Philanthropy for believing in and supporting our work!
May: Launched Campaign to Bring Approval Voting to St. Louis
In May, we joined forces with St. Louis Approves to advance an initiative to bring approval voting to voters in St. Louis, MO. Elections in St. Louis have seen severe vote-splitting and the people are fed up. In the last 5 years, 8 elections resulted in a winning candidate who received less than 30% of the vote.
We provided STL Approves with a grant to help fund their political advocacy campaign, including signature gathering to get the approval voting initiative on the ballot in 2020. Thanks to your generous contributions this fall, we also conducted polling in St. Louis which showed that over 70% of St. Louisans were in favor of approval voting once they learned about it!
June: Hired Our Director of Campaigns & Advocacy
Thanks to the support of our donors, we were able to hire an experienced Director of Campaigns & Advocacy this June. Chris Raleigh has multiple congressional campaigns under his belt and has shown himself to be an exceptionally valuable addition to our team.
In his role, Chris is responsible for managing our educational campaigns, seeking out new targets for future ballot initiatives, identifying other routes for advocacy, and much more. This fall, he launched a new chapter program which will empower supporters to advocate for approval voting in their local communities. Thanks to all of you who helped us hire Chris!
November: Hosted Our First Chapter Kickoff Meeting
Through the efforts of our new Director of Campaigns & Advocacy, we now have a new way to spread the word about approval voting—local chapters! In November, we launched our first ever chapter meeting in the Bay Area.
Over a dozen supporters attended the kickoff event and quickly got to work identifying cities in their region that would be prime targets for an approval voting initiative. Once they identify the targets, they’ll work to get ballot initiatives started in those cities.
We’re excited to launch more local chapters across the country! In 2020, we have plans to launch chapters in Los Angeles, Seattle, Phoenix, DC, and more. Keep your eyes peeled for announcements!
Want to help us achieve even more in 2020? Consider making a donation that will go towards creating fairer, more representative elections across the country.