Even during the most expensive, contentious and turbulent election cycle in American history, democracy still prevailed — even in long-controversial Georgia, where the spending, campaigning and rhetoric continued into early January.
Voters came out in record numbers despite the raging Covid-19 pandemic and the election's integrity withstood repeated attacks from President Trump and his loyalists, including Wednesday's violent invasion of the Capitol while Congress certified the Electoral College count and Joe Biden's victory.
Georgia, with a history of voter suppression, was home to one of Trump's most flagrant attempts to undermine the election. Just days before the in-person voting, the president pressured Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to "find" 11,780 votes — one more than Biden's winning margin in the state. Despite such efforts to subvert the results, election security experts say voters should rest assured that elections in the Peach State, like the rest of the country, were conducted with integrity and fairness.
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The coronavirus pandemic and subsequent economic calamity will be remembered as the top stories of the year along with an extraordinarily contentious presidential contest — which faced extra challenges from Covid-19 and the incumbent president's unprecedented crusade to discredit American democracy. But the system survived, even as it got set back in some ways and improved at the margins in others.
How well do you remember the big moments in the world of democracy reform this past year? Take this quiz to find out.
Organizer: Open Gov Hub
Hot off the press: a new Carnegie research paper co-authored by Nada Zohdy and Abigail Bellows that examines the impact of the pandemic on civil society collaborations for open government. We heard from 125 civil society leaders across 20 countries during this project, including many of our global affiliate hubs and their partners.
Meeker is a fellow working on the Connecting to Congress project at Ohio State University's Institute for Democratic Engagement and Accountability.
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