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Tuesday, August 03, 2021

AG HEALEY CALLS ON CONGRESS TO PASS LEGISLATION TO SAFEGUARD DEMOCRACY

AG HEALEY CALLS ON CONGRESS TO PASS LEGISLATION TO SAFEGUARD DEMOCRACY

Multistate Letter Urges Congress to Protect Against Voter Suppression and Election Subversion

BOSTON – Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey today joined a coalition of 22 attorneys general in calling on Congress to immediately act to safeguard democracy by passing legislation to protect against voter suppression and election subversion and, if necessary, reforming the filibuster.

“Our democracy is at risk as more and more Republican-led legislatures push forward with dangerous legislation aimed at restricting voting access for communities of color,” AG Healey said. “These discriminatory policies are ripped from the same playbook as Jim Crow. Voting rights is the most important issue of our time, and it’s on us, as elected officials, to stand up and do what’s needed to ensure the right to vote. Congress must act now.”

In today’s letter to Congressional leadership, the attorneys general describe how their offices worked to ensure that the 2020 general election was conducted freely, fairly, and with integrity. According to the letter, several factors contributed to the failure of former President Trump to overturn the election’s democratic outcome including that the legal arguments used “were generally so extraordinarily weak that they did not have even the veneer of legitimacy. Certain election officials—both Republican and Democratic—refused to buckle under pressure at critical points, placing election integrity and our democracy, ahead of partisanship. And the attack on the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, while dangerous, was inept.” The attorneys general argue for robust federal protections to protect the will of the voters and ensure that we are not left relying on the hope that future subverters will be similarly incompetent.

Eighteen states have already passed laws that create new barriers to voting or make it easier to overturn election results. In a statement issued on June 1, more than 100 democracy scholars explain, “[W]e have watched with deep concern as Republican-led state legislatures across the country have in recent months proposed or implemented what we consider radical changes to core electoral procedures in response to unproven and intentionally destructive allegations of a stolen election.” The statement argues that laws being passed in “large key electoral battleground states are dangerously politicizing the process of electoral administration” and seek to restrict access to the ballot. The scholars warn that these laws could enable “some state legislators or partisan election officials to do what they failed to do in 2020: reverse the outcome of a free and fair election.”

The attorneys general argue in the letter that “the profound challenges confronting our democracy demand that Congress act to prevent voter suppression and election subversion. Irrespective of one’s views on the value of the filibuster in general, it must not be allowed to stop Congress from addressing these issues so fundamental to our Constitution and democracy.”

            Joining AG Healey in sending today’s letter are the attorneys general of California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin

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