Honoring the Unsung Heroes of Democracy

Editor’s Note: Former Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts co-leads the North Carolina Democracy Resilience Network, the Carter Center-supported, cross-partisan organization dedicated to promoting peaceful political engagement and confidence in elections. Roberts and former N.C. Supreme Court Justice Bob Orr organized the N.C. Trusted Elections Tour, which gave voters in all 14 of North Carolina’s congressional districts the chance to learn more about the workings of elections in the state. For this effort, the League of Women Voters of North Carolina honored The Carter Center with its 2023 Outstanding State League Partner award.  Here are Roberts’ acceptance remarks.

Many thanks to the League of Women Voters of North Carolina for recognizing the work of the bipartisan N.C. Trusted Elections Tour, organized by myself and Bob Orr and funded by The Carter Center. Our close partnership with the League of Women Voters in this endeavor guaranteed its success and helped pave the way for safe, secure, and peaceful elections in our state in 2022.

This award really belongs to the folks of all political ideologies whom we met along the way — the election volunteers, who set up curbside voting and post flyers and call to cure ballots and drive people to the polls; the league members who work year round to educate and engage voters, and who helped us organize and advertise our town halls; the cyber experts, who update software and county websites and ward off cyber threats; and the election administrators, who endure harassment, work weekends, and stay up late many nights to make sure every vote is counted and every ballot is accounted for.  

They are the unsung heroes of our democracy, and our trip across this great state last fall just reinforced our confidence in the integrity of the people of North Carolina and the resilience of our American democracy.

The Carter Center, the North Carolina Trusted Elections Tour, and Bob and I look forward to continuing this work with the League of Women Voters of North Carolina in the coming election cycles as well. The league’s nonpartisan mission to educate, inform, and engage voters is integral to the functioning of our democracy, both here and across our great nation. May our partnership continue to thrive and continue to strengthen our democracy!

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