Below is a statement by the Director of Business for Democracy, Frank Knapp, on behalf of its small business collaboratives in eight states. Business for Democracy is a campaign of the American Sustainable Business Network to inform the voters that a strong democracy is essential to a vibrant entrepreneurial economy.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — If the issue of protecting democracy plays a successful role in the results of the midterms, we should thank the local free press for allowing our small business voice and the voice of others to be heard.

For well over a year, small business organizations have been sounding the alarm about the need for Congress to protect democracy by passing voting rights legislation. Doing so not only secures our strong democracy but also our vibrant economy. The two go hand in hand.

Business for Democracy collaboratives in eight key states have strived to make the issue a top voting concern and inform the public about which Congressional candidates supported legislative reforms needed to protect democracy.

Without a massive media budget, this campaign of the American Sustainable Business Network relied on the free press to get out our message to all voters. If our efforts to stop our country from sliding into an autocracy fail, the free press will likely not be so free in the future. The media censorship that we see in autocratic countries will begin here and diverse opinions not approved by those in political power will not be given the same public forum we have had.

Democracy, our economy, and the free press are all on the ballot.