Resources for Municipal Leaders to Help Ensure a Fair and Free Election

October 22, 2020

With early voting already underway for the 2020 Presidential Election, it’s critical that municipal leaders throughout the state have access to information that will help them provide and ensure a fair and free election in their communities. The resources listed below will help city leaders stay informed and aware during this time.

Anti-Defamation League

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is a nationwide, non-partisan organization providing a strong voice in the fight against bias, bigotry and hate. The ADL's Center on Extremism tracks extremist threat and trends. It is seeing an increase in extremism that could lead to violence on Election Day or in the days and weeks that follow. The ADL is highly respected in investigations concerning extremist groups and is often consulted by state and federal law enforcement for its analysis and insight.

ADL has a number of resources available for local government officials and law enforcement as communities prepare for potential unrest.

  • Anti-Defamation League Website
  • ADL’s Election Security Toolkit outlines the organization’s suggestions for actions that can be taken by state officials. There is also a long-form version available, which includes a list of ADL’s training classes and other resources, such as their new election disinformation training.
  • The Hate Symbols Database contains many of the symbols used by hate groups.
  • ADL’s Extremist Incidents Heatmap provides overviews of extremist incidents on nationwide, state and individual community levels.
  • The ADL Extremism Overview was prepared through investigative research for ADL's Center for Extremism and includes a timeline on incidents that have occurred in 2020, screen shots of social media posts by extremist groups and individuals affiliated with these groups that encourages armed conflict, and screen shots showing efforts to sow election disinformation.
  • City officials are invited to stay up on ADL’s updates and extremist work by signing up for one or more of its newsletters. ADL staff recommend its new COE Monthly (Center on Extremism) and the My Region's Newsletter that includes local information.

For questions or other information regarding ADL content, please reach out to Amy Iandiorio at The ADL also invites city officials to reach out to Allison Padilla-Goodman, the organization's Vice President, Southern Division, at

Other Resources

  • Georgetown Law has provided a resource for those looking out for militia activity near polling sites.
  • Virginia's Attorney General penned an opinion piece on the “fundamental political right” to vote, which may help provide important context to local law enforcement officials when dealing with groups or individuals engaging in voter intimidation.  
  • This fact sheet by the Brennan Center for Justice outlines Federal and Georgia laws concerning voter intimidation, poll watchers and challenges.
  • An article on Guns and Polling Places from the AJC.

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