100 victories: Let America Vote wins big for voting-rights champions in 2018

Kansas City, MO —  Let America Vote on Tuesday helped elect 100 leaders committed to protecting and advancing voting rights, making good on its promise to create political consequences for politicians who try to suppress the vote.

That figure includes 49 red-to-blue flips and 51 Democratic holds across five states. Among its successes, Let America Vote aided candidates in Nevada who clinched a Democratic supermajority in the state Assembly and powered new Democratic majorities in both the New Hampshire House and Senate.

“Let America Vote’s boots-on-the-ground team scored incredible victories all across the country on Tuesday,” Let America Vote Executive Director Suzy Smith said. “The voting-rights champions we helped elect from Las Vegas to Des Moines to Atlanta and beyond will stand up for free, fair and accessible elections and a more vibrant democracy.”

LAV counted 1,185 volunteers and interns in 2018, who knocked on 340,439 doors, made 111,891 calls, and sent 340,888 texts in support of scores of candidates running critical races in Georgia, Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and Tennessee.

Those totals mean LAV has exceeded 1 million direct-voter-contact attempts since February, 2017, when the organization was founded by Jason Kander.

“I could not be prouder of the efforts of our grassroots, all-volunteer field teams,” Smith said. “Let America Vote is redefining the role a national, issue-based political organization can play in state-level elections, and that’s all because of our devoted grassroots supporters.”

Smith, LAV Board Chairman Abe Rakov and Senior Advisor Brendan Summers published a deep-dive analysis on the organization’s 2018 successes on Thursday.

Tuesday’s successes represent the latest proof-of-concept for LAV’s model of grassroots-focused organizing, following earlier successes in Virginia in 2017. Let America Vote looks forward to engaging voters and advancing voting rights in 2019, 2020 and beyond.

See excerpts below and view the full analysis at


In Georgia on Tuesday, we followed up successful efforts to break a Republican supermajority in a special election last fall with victories in four state Senate seats, knocking more than 15,000 doors in support of Sally Harrell in DeKalb County and 24,000 for Jen Jordan in Cobb County while increasing door capacity for Zahra Karinshak, among other candidates. Harrell’s win, in particular, has been heralded as a major upset. In all, we were part of flipping eight legislative seats from Republican to Democratic.


In Iowa, Democrats won seven of the eight state House races in which Let America Vote knocked at least 1,000 doors, helping turn the Des Moines suburbs blue and sharply narrowing the chamber’s GOP majority. LAV-backed candidates Kristin Sunde of West Des Moines, Karin Derry of Johnston and Heather Matson of Ankeny knocked off entrenched incumbents, while Kenan Judge of Waukee won a seat that Democrats did not even contest in 2016. We were a part of flipping eight legislative seats from Republican to Democratic.


In Nevada, our boots-on-the-ground team ran one of the largest volunteer-only led programs in the state’s history, working to protect every Assembly and Senate incumbent on the ballot. On Tuesday, LAV-supported candidates Connie Munk and Shea Backus won Republican-held seats in the Assembly, clinching a Democratic supermajority, while Melanie Scheible and Marilyn Dondero-Loop flipped seats in the Senate, giving Democrats 13 of the upper chamber’s 21 seats.


In New Hampshire, where politicians passed some of the most draconian voter suppression bills in the country over the last two years, our grassroots team helped turn both the state House and Senate blue by knocking on more than 80,000 doors. The Let America Vote-New Hampshire team helped flip two dozen legislative seats, and helped clinch a majority in the Senate by knocking more than 23,000 doors across six districts — including almost 3,000 for Democrat Melanie Levesque, who won by just 146 votes.


In Tennessee, we helped Knoxville state representative candidate Gloria Johnson — who lost by just 182 votes in 2014 and 173 votes 2016 — win her election by more than 2,400 votes. We also helped Bob Freeman flip a Nashville district.

Let America Vote launched in February 2017 to fight back against proposals across the country that make it harder for eligible voters to exercise their constitutional right to cast a ballot. Whether it’s extreme identification requirements, questionable purges of voter rolls, voter intimidation, new and extreme voter registration processes, or anything that makes voting harder, Let America Vote will be there to lead the way against it. Its president is Jason Kander, the former Missouri Secretary of State.