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'Democracy will be on the ballot': Secretary of state races emerge as newest US political flashpoint

By Fredreka Schouten, August 11, 2021

Republicans and Democrats are gearing up for expensive battles to influence a crop of contests next year that often go unnoticed: secretary of state races...

Want Better Elections? Choose Better Elections Officials

By Ellen Kurz, June 16, 2020

Secretaries of state do more than count ballots and issue drivers’ licenses. They safeguard our democracy.

Increasing voter turnout will strike at the heart of the NRA

By Ellen Kurz, March 30, 2018

The most powerful person in Florida politics is not the governor. It’s not a U.S. senator or even the speaker of the state House. It’s Marion Hammer, the lobbyist for the NRA...

Democratic group will spend $5 million to elect secretaries of state, the latest front in ‘voting wars’

By David Weigel, January 25, 2018

For the 2018 elections, iVote commits to spend $5 million across swing states to help elect Democratic secretaries of state. Ellen Kurz, President and Founder, talks about why the 2018 elections are crucial...

Election deniers rejected in swing states

By Josh Kraushaar

One of the biggest winners of election night was iVote, a liberal group that invested $15 million in secretary of state races that typically fly under the radar. The group spent millions on ads in four swing-state secretary of state races in which Republicans nominated candidates who didn't accept the validity of the 2020 election outcome.

iVote to spend $5 million in Arizona Secretary of State race

By Alexandra Marquez

iVote, a group that works to elect Democratic Secretaries of State, will spend $5 million on an ad campaign in Arizona to boost Democratic Secretary of State candidate Adrian Fontes and attack his Republican opponent, Mark Finchem. In 2018, the group spent $3 million in the state's Secretary of State race to help elect Katie Hobbs, a Democrat who is now running for governor.

The Midterm Races That Give Democrats Nightmares

By Blake Hounshell

Ellen Kurz, the founder and president of iVote, has been focused on secretary of state races for nearly a decade, she said in an interview. In 2018, the group spent $7 million helping elect Democrats in Arizona and Michigan who later became important players in the 2020 election. This year, iVote has a budget of more than twice that amount — $15 million, which it plans to spend on broadcast, cable and digital advertising to bolster its candidates.

Conspiracy Theorists Want to Run America’s Elections. These Are the Candidates Standing in Their Way

By Charlotte Alter

A single conspiracy theorist overseeing elections in a swing state could plunge the next presidential race into chaos or even change the result. “If even one of these people win, and they say, ‘We don’t like these results,’ then we’re in a constitutional crisis,” says Ellen Kurz, founder of iVote, which works to elect Democratic secretaries of state. “They will stop at nothing,” Kurz adds. “So we have to stop them.”

Is the Future of Arizona the Future of America Without Democracy?

By Ellen Kurz

In 2020, Democratic secretaries of state stood as a firewall against the Big Lie, earning them threats of violence from armed protestors and the former president. Now, in 2022, these election administration officials are on the ballot again, and whether they defeat their "Stop the Steal" opponents may determine whether the 2024 presidential election is free and fair or a constitutional crisis in the making. Nowhere is that truer than in the battleground state of Arizona.

Want Better Elections? Choose Better Elections Officials

By Ellen Kurz

The big news from Georgia’s primary election last Tuesday wasn’t who won and who lost. It was the galling meltdown at polling places in black communities across the state. New voting machines were missing or didn’t work. Voters waited hours in line to cast their ballots. Some understandably gave up.

Congress Must Defeat the Continued Insurrection Against American Democracy | Opinion

By Rep. Jim McGovern and Ellen Kurz

The Capitol insurrection isn't over. In Republican-controlled state legislatures across the country, the assault on American democracy that began on January 6 rages on.

Secretaries of State: Our democracy's new first responders

By Ellen Kurz

In recent weeks, our nation and our democracy were attacked by our own government. Donald Trump’s “voter integrity” commission demanded each state hand over the names, addresses, and social security numbers of millions of Americans citizens. Led by state secretaries of State, more than 40 states said “no” in whole or part to Trump’s effort.

Behind Katie Hobbs' win: How Democrats flipped Arizona's 2nd-highest office

By Dustin Gardiner

Most of the money that the Arizona Democratic Party spent on Hobbs' behalf, about $3.2 million, came from iVote Fund. ... 'In the general election, Democrats outspent our campaign two-to-one on television,' said Brian Seitchik, Gaynor's campaign consultant. 'In a Democrat-friendly year, [Hobbs's] spending advantage was the difference.

'Democracy will be on the ballot': Secretary of state races emerge as newest US political flashpoint

By Fredreka Schouten

One Democratic group focused on these races, iVote, has raised $3 million and hopes to collect a total of $15 million to shape contests in several key battleground states, said Ellen Kurz, the group's president. Its top targets: Nevada, Arizona, Michigan, Georgia and Minnesota, all of which backed President Joe Biden in 2020.

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