Non-profit

Election Reformers Network

Location:

Bethesda, MD

Tax ID:

82-4913578

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Budget (2019):

Revenue: $109,058
Expenses: $5,770
Assets: $109,336

Type:

Voter Reform Activist

Executive Director:

Kevin Johnson

Founded:

2018

The Election Reformers Network (ERN) is a pressure group which pushes for changes to the way that elections are conducted in the United States. While the organization describes itself as nonpartisan, it identifies itself as a “proud” member of the Bridge Alliance, a collective of more than 100 activist and grantmaking organizations that promote election administration policies favoring left-of-center voters and candidates. The ERN also receives funding from the Democracy Fund, a foundation funded by left-of-center billionaire Pierre Omidyar. The ERN touts its leadership and members’ extensive track records of working with organizations which monitor and intervene in elections around the world, including the National Democratic Institute, Democracy International, and the Carter Center. [1] [2]

Advocacy

Election Reformers Network criticized many aspects of the American political system, the most important being its view that the system is not sufficiently representative due to the winner-take-all nature of most local and federal elections. The organization also dismisses primary elections and the electoral college as “less representative” than proportional representation systems used in countries such as Sweden, Australia, and Costa Rica. The ERN also opposes the role of elected secretaries of state in overseeing elections, arguing that unelected commissions and officials who do not report to either government agencies or voters would be “less partisan.” Ultimately, the organization aims to replace both the electoral college and the practice of voting for one candidate per elected office with ranked choice voting. [3]

Leadership

Kevin Johnson is the co-founder and executive director of the ERN. He previously spent seven years with the National Democratic Institute and a decade on the board of the Massachusetts chapter of Common Cause, a pressure group pushing for campaign finance and redistricting policies which favor left-of-center voters and candidates across the United States. Johnson has also worked for the Carter Center and FairVote; the latter supports ranked choice voting and eliminating the Electoral College. [4]

Eric Bjornlund is the chairman of the Election Reformers Network board of directors. Like several of his colleagues, he has worked with leading foreign election-observer institutions such as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the non-government organization Democracy International, which he helped found. [5]

Larry Garber is a member of the ERN board of directors. He is a former United States foreign policy official who spent many years with USAID, as well as with the National Democratic Institute and the Carter Center. [6] He also provided consulting services to some of the world’s most influential international institutions, such as the United Nations and the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe, as well as the Organization of American States. [7] Garber has claimed that the 2020 United States presidential election was conducted with few to no irregularities, placing the chief responsibility for any instability on outgoing president Donald Trump. [8]

He has also voiced support for the United States government intervening in the political process of the Palestinian territories, proposing that the American foreign policy apparatus attempt to mobilize parts of the Palestinian electorate that may oppose the anti-Israel militant and political group Hamas. [9]

Financials

In 2019, the ERN received just over $109,000 in total revenue and spent less than $6,000. [10] In addition to its sustained financial support from the Democracy Fund, the ERN received a $9,000 grant from the David B. Lynch Foundation in 2017. [11] [12]

References

  1. “History and Mission.” Election Reformers Network. Accessed April 17, 2022. https://electionreformers.org/history-and-mission/ ^
  2. “Election Reformers Network awarded 18-month Democracy Fund grant to address conflicts of interest among state chief election officers.” Election Reformers Network. Accessed April 17, 2022. https://electionreformers.org/for-immediate-release-election-reformers-network-awarded-18-month-democracy-fund-grant-to-address-conflicts-of-interest-among-state-chief-election-officers/ ^
  3. “Our Programs.” Election Reformers Network. Accessed April 17, 2022. https://electionreformers.org/our-programs/ ^
  4. “Leadership.” Election Reformers Network. Accessed April 17, 2022. https://electionreformers.org/leadership/ ^
  5. “Leadership.” Election Reformers Network. Accessed April 17, 2022. https://electionreformers.org/leadership/ ^
  6. “Leadership.” Election Reformers Network. Accessed April 17, 2022. https://electionreformers.org/leadership/ ^
  7. “Larry Garber.” Center for Strategic & International Studies. Accessed April 17, 2022. https://www.csis.org/people/larry-garber ^
  8. Larry Garber. “U.S. Avoids Nightmare Election Scenarios as Institutions Prove More than Adequate.” Medium. November 10, 2022. Accessed April 17, 2022. https://medium.com/the-carter-center/u-s-avoids-nightmare-election-scenarios-as-institutions-prove-more-than-adequate-9863d8cc022 ^
  9. Larry Garber. “The US should help Palestinians vote regardless of potential outcomes.” The Hill. April 15, 2021. Accessed April 17, 2022.

    https://thehill.com/opinion/international/548383-the-us-should-help-palestinians-vote-regardless-of-potential-outcomes/ ^

  10. Election Reformers Network Inc. ProPublica. Accessed April 17, 2022. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/824913578 ^
  11. David B Lynch Foundation 2017 IRS Form 990-PF. Accessed April 17, 2022.

    https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/200458302/201920459349100202/full ^

  12. “Election Reformers Network awarded 18-month Democracy Fund grant to address conflicts of interest among state chief election officers.” Election Reformers Network. Accessed April 17, 2020. https://electionreformers.org/for-immediate-release-election-reformers-network-awarded-18-month-democracy-fund-grant-to-address-conflicts-of-interest-among-state-chief-election-officers/ ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: April 1, 2018

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2019 Dec Form 990EZ $109,058 $5,770 $109,336 $0 $0 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Election Reformers Network

    7600 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 1010
    Bethesda, MD 20184