As former NLC President, Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson, put it, “The road to good government is paved with ballot boxes.” We heard from three local voting rights champions—Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway of Madison, WI; Council President Felicia Moore of Atlanta, GA; and Election Director Claire Woodall-Vogg of Milwaukee, WI—about how their cities handled the challenges of 2020 and the lessons they learned for ensuring equitable voting access. Here are a few of the key takeaways:

  • One of the most straightforward ways to build trust in the voting process is for city leaders to be present, accessible, and responsive to voters’ questions.  
  • Overcoming barriers to voting requires leaders to pivot quickly and creatively, meeting residents where they are both geographically and socially.
  • Local libraries, labor and trade unions, community-based organizations, and local residents themselves are invaluable partners in the election process, from registration to education to Election Day.