A Call to Uphold Election Integrity and Democracy

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Amid an unprecedented global pandemic, and a divisiveness that threatens to tear at our social fabric, we face one of the most consequential elections of this generation.

The Minnesota philanthropic community, in partnership with the nonprofit sector, has a long-standing commitment to a strong and inclusive democracy—a democracy where every person is counted, heard, seen, valued, and represented. For decades the civic sector has been a reliable nonpartisan voice promoting civic participation. In 2020, this is as important as ever. As nonpartisan philanthropic leaders, we call upon business, government, foundations, nonprofits, civic leaders, and residents to join together in upholding the integrity of this election—and to protect democracy itself.

Every vote counts

We encourage every eligible voter to exercise their Constitutional right to cast their ballot. This is our democracy—we know that every vote matters, and we must ensure that every vote is counted. We are grateful that our state offers multiple early voting options. Whether voting by mail, early in person, or at the polls on Election Day, Minnesota’s election system has historically proven to be thoughtfully designed, carefully implemented, and secure. Many Minnesotans have voted successfully by mail for decades, making Minnesota’s election systems ready for this year’s unique needs. Voters can find options for casting and tracking their ballots at mnvotes.org.

Democracy may require patience this year

Due to the large number of absentee ballots, results may not be known until well after Election Day. This is a sign that our democracy is working, and every vote is being counted. Let us commit to patience as election officials carry out their duties to ensure an accurate result. Our democracy is worth the wait.

A call for peace, unity, and healing

We uphold the values of a fair and inclusive election process and the long-held nonpartisan democratic norms of peaceful political transitions. After the election we must come together across our differences to continue the ongoing work of “forming a more perfect union” and repairing our democracy for the common good. It is only by coming together that we can uphold the democracy we count on to advance prosperity and equity in Minnesota.


Diana Anderson, Southwest Initiative Foundation 
Susie Brown, Minnesota Council on Foundation
Ben Cameron, Jerome Foundation
Sara Carlson, Willmar Area Community Foundation
Paul Di Donato, Proteus Fund
Mark Dienhart, Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation
Amy Goldman, GHR Foundation
Heather Logelin, St. Croix Valley Foundation
Eric J. Jolly, Ph.D., Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation
Steven Joul, CommunityGiving
C. David Nelson, Carlson Family Foundation
Tuleah Palmer, Blandin Foundation
Jen Ford Reedy, Bush Foundation
R.T. Rybak, The Minneapolis Foundation
Karl Samp, Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation
Tony Sertich, Northland Foundation
Lee Sheehy, McKnight Foundation
Caryl Turnow, Central Minnesota Community Foundation
Kevin Walker, Northwest Area Foundation
Karen White, Northwest Minnesota Foundation
John A. Wilgers, Greater Twin Cities United Way
Holly Witt, Alexandria Area Community Foundation