Election 2020: Our Country Needs a Calm Voice, and Business Can Provide It
The reassuring voice of business will be critical before and after Election Day.
Our continued prosperity rests on the ability of all Americans to come together, regardless of who wins at the polls. Fortune summed it up nicely in a recent report, noting that the business leaders it spoke to about the 2020 election all wanted three things: “stability, predictability, certainty.”
This is a national contest, but real leadership takes place at the local level.
Americans need accurate information about how to cast their ballots, and community leaders need to manage expectations about the speed with which the results will become known.
Things You Can Do Before Election Day:
- Encourage people to vote (in person or by mail).
- Deepen your connections with other members of the community by sharing information and using existing platforms like the local chamber to identify best practices based on recent disruptions.
- Consider sending a message to employees that emphasizes shared values while acknowledging the political environment and committing to maintain a respectful workplace.
- Build (or strengthen) links to local authorities (election, police, emergency managers, etc.) with the goal of creating two-way communications about the election and its effects.
- All levels of government are working on election-related plans. Ask local officials to brief you on theirs.
- Convene business, labor, faith, and other community leaders before the election with plans to communicate with a unified, calm voice after the election, regardless of the outcome.
- Make sure you have the right insurance. It sounds basic, but one lesson from 2020 is that far too many businesses don’t have a strong safety net.
Things You Can Do After Election Day:
- Convene community leaders to deliver a unified message to the public about the importance of solidarity regardless of the election results. Basically, we need everyone to understand that community transcends partisan politics.
- Provide a stabilizing voice that sets positive norms and exerts a stabilizing influence on decision-makers at the state and local levels.
- Be a voice of truth. Use your integrity to ground employees and the larger community in a fact-based conversation about the situation.
A final note on the importance of accurate and unbiased information.
Rumors pose one of the biggest threats to the integrity of the election.
We’ve learned from our work helping communities respond to disasters that information flow can be a challenge when times get tough. It doesn’t really matter if the bad actors are scammers, extremists, or foreign governments. Misinformation or disinformation is a consistent concern, and it’s something that all of us should be prepared to deal with after the 2020 election.
The best sources for reliable information are state or local officials or nonpartisan media organizations such as the Associated Press. Do your part to protect the information flow.
Ultimately, all of us need to bring logic to an emotional conversation. Every citizen has an interest in ensuring the country remains unified after the election.
- Workplace Harmony
- Business Preparedness Checklist (U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation)
- Election Crimes and Security (FBI)
- Election Disinformation Toolkit (Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency)
- Resilience in a Box (U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation)
- Civil Disorders and Insurance (Insurance Information Institute)
Please let us know if you come across a resource that should be included on this list by sending a link to firstname.lastname@example.org.