The past years have seen threat after threat to democracy, including attacks on voting rights, the rampant spread of misinformation, and an insurrection at the Capitol. Congress must act to defend against these threats and protect our electoral institutions, CREW recently wrote in a statement to the U.S. House of Representatives House Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties.
The recent efforts to change voting laws, add a citizenship question to the census, and overturn election results are directly disenfranchising BIPOC communities across the country, reducing their strength and participation in elections, and weakening American democracy as a whole. Black voters have been targeted by gerrymandering, unfair redistricting, and attacks on mail-in voting. Trump actively worked to overturn election results in Georgia and deprive Georgia citizens of their vote. Along with many allies in Congress and state legislatures across the country, Trump has repeatedly accused cities with large BIPOC populations of voter fraud with no evidence, including Atlanta, Detroit, Philadelphia, and Milwaukee, attempting to severely undermine these cities’ voting power. While Trump and his allies ultimately failed in 2020, a horrifying trend of electoral disenfranchisement continues across the country with strict laws aimed at voter suppression and Secretary of State candidates openly voicing their willingness to overturn elections if unsatisfied with the results.
In addition to attacks on voting rights and the disenfranchisement of communities’ of color electoral power, the Trump administration’s 2018 attempt to add the citizenship question to the census was a thinly veiled attempt to reduce participation of mixed citizenship status families and undercount minority groups. Furthermore, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross misrepresented the reasons behind the reinstatement of this question, but the Department of Justice has failed to prosecute him for his lies, in a failure of accountability.
The right to vote, have one’s vote counted fairly and equally, and not face intimidation when participating in our democracy is a central tenet of American democracy and ethics in government, and these rights must be protected.