On the precipice of the first 'Election Integrity' Commission (EIC) meeting this morning, two important events were taking place that showcased the people’s desire to honestly improve our electoral system.
The Center for American Progress held two morning panels on “Attacks and Advances in Voter Registration”. California Secretary of State Alex Padilla and Rhode Island Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea spoke about their efforts to advance voting rights such as the benefits of online and automatic voter registration, updating voting machines, and investigating efforts to allow citizens to vote anywhere within their county. They agreed that the voter fraud is rare and isolated and the EIC simply ignores the facts about voting and instead advances an agenda of voter suppression. Next, leaders from the advocacy organizations the Alliance for Youth Action, Chicago Votes, and Generation Progress spoke passionately about engaging millennial voters who often face structural barriers when getting to the polls. They agreed that Automatic Voter Registration would make it easier for young people to get to the polls and save time in order to allow young people to discuss political issues rather than discuss which boxes to check in a registration form.
Just a few blocks away, the Hip Hop Caucus hosted a #RespectMyVote rally in front of the White House to protest the EIC’s first meeting. Multiple civil rights groups, including LWV, brought boxes filled with nearly 500,000 signatures from citizens concerned by the EIC’s secretive operation and apparent disregard for the Constitution’s protection of states’ rights to run elections. While protesters were moved from Lafayette Park, the protesters sent a clear message: the American people neither trust nor support the EIC.
League of Women Voters of the US staff were in attendance at both of these events. LWVUS stands in firm opposition to the EIC. League president Chris Carson has publicly addressed its overreach, noting “Mr. Kobach has been brought to court — and lost — several times for suppressing the constitutional rights of citizens to vote in his home state of Kansas.” Kobach’s fear-mongering is not new, but neither is LWV’s commitment to protecting the voting rights of U.S. citizens. Support us in creating a more perfect democracy by signing the petition we brought to the #RespectMyVote rally, and stay informed about future action alerts from the League.