Voting rights are the fundamental building blocks of democracy. Without the protected right to vote freely and without threat of intimidation, there can be no democratic system. To be meaningful, election systems must also guarantee fair and convenient access to register and vote for all those eligible, without regard to economic status or disabilities.
Today, voting rights are under siege in the United States. In state after state, we face efforts to make voting more difficult for many citizens, eliminate protections for those who have been historically discriminated against, and even to roll back measures which have been put in place successfully over time to increase voter participation by making it easier and more convenient for eligible citizens to vote.
These voter suppression efforts are being pursued at the state level and now at the national level with false claims of widespread or rising voter fraud. Such claims are being used to justify thinly veiled attempts at real intimidation directed against historically disadvantaged communities.
Unacceptable efforts at voter intimidation and suppression include the following:
--Launching unjustified and resource-squandering “investigations” of nonexistent voter fraud.
--Creation on new barriers to make it more difficult for historically disadvantaged populations to vote, such as restrictive photo identification requirements.
--Creating new ways to enable partisan challenges of eligible voters, slowing the voting process in targeted communities and seeking to intimidate voters from participation.
--Unjustified purges of voter rolls in an effort to remove eligible voters and effectively make more difficult or discourage their participation.
--Rollbacks of voting tools which have successfully increased voter participation without undermining the integrity of the voting system, including early voting, same-day registration and voting, and out-of-precinct voting.
These efforts of attempted voter intimidation must end. Rollbacks of voting rights protections must be halted.