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Exclusive: 25 Civil Rights Groups Condemn Trump Over Election Delay Threat, Demand Congress Fund Voting Protections

"We denounce this desperate attack on our democracy."

An employee at the Utah County Election office puts mail-in ballots into a container to register the vote in the midterm elections on November 6, 2018 in Provo, Utah. (Photo: George Frey/Getty Images)

Over two dozen advocacy groups released a statement Friday, provided exclusively to Common Dreams, condemning President Donald Trump's recent comments suggesting the November general election be delayed.

"We denounce this desperate attack on our democracy," the statement reads. 

The NAACP, Stand Up America, and the Service Employees International Union are among the groups that signed the statement, which declares that "Trump is trying to steal this election" and calls on the U.S. Senate to approve the $3.6 billion in funding for elections assistance in the HEROES Act passed by House Democrats in May.

The president, the statement continues, "has repeatedly threatened to ignore election results, launched false attacks on the integrity of mail-in and absentee voting, and done everything to further disenfranchise voters of color. He is also sowing seeds of chaos, from sending in secret police forces to intimidate protestors to undermining science critical to fighting the pandemic."

As Common Dreams reported, Trump's comments on Twitter Thursday morning calling for a delay in the election due to vague implications of problems presented by voting by mail were widely seen as another disturbing step towards a breakdown in democratic institutions.

"The president of the United States is broadcasting that he is considering a coup to hold on to power," tweeted consumer advocacy group Public Citizen. "Make no mistake: We are teetering on the edge of autocracy."

In a statement Thursday on the president's comments, Stand Up America founder and president Sean Eldridge made clear the danger posed by Trump's remarks.

"Trump poses an existential threat to our democracy," said Eldridge. "While he has no authority to delay the election, we cannot ignore his escalating lies and attacks on our democracy."

The best way to push back agains the president's rhetoric, Friday's statement declares, is for Congress to ensure the integrity of the election. 

"We denounce this desperate attack on our democracy," say the groups. "There is no trade off needed between safety and voting, and the lies about Vote By Mail will not stick. Congress needs to pass the $3.6 billion in funding for elections that is in the HEROES Act, and we must be ready to protect our election from a desperate president."

"Democracy can not and will not be delayed," the groups add.

Read the full letter:

Donald Trump is trying to steal this election. He has repeatedly threatened to ignore election results, launched false attacks on the integrity of mail-in and absentee voting, and done everything to further disenfranchise voters of color. He is also sowing seeds of chaos, from sending in secret police forces to intimidate protestors to undermining science critical to fighting the pandemic. 

Trump's attempt today to delay the election takes his authoritarianism to a new level. Down in the polls, COVID out of control and desperate to distract from bad economic news today and millions losing unemployment insurance tomorrow, Trump is trying to make excuses for why he is losing. He’s losing because he’s a terrible president.

We denounce this desperate attack on our democracy. There is no trade off needed between safety and voting, and the lies about Vote By Mail will not stick. Congress needs to pass the $3.6 billion in funding for elections that is in the HEROES Act, and we must be ready to protect our election from a desperate president. 

Democracy can not and will not be delayed.

Signed: 

Alliance for Quality Education 

American Federation of Teachers 

America Votes

Bend the Arc Jewish Action

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Black to the Future Action Fund

Center for Popular Democracy

Climate Hawks Vote 

Color of Change

Community Change Action 

Democracy for America

Demos Action 

Indivisible 

League of Conservation Voters/League of Conservation Voters Education Fund 

March For Our Lives 

NAACP 

People's Action 

Progressive Change Campaign Committee

RepresentUs 

SEIU 

Stand Up America 

Showing Up For Racial Justice 

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Women's March 

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