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Demonstrators demanding passage of voting rights legislation protest in front of the White House in Washington, D.C. on November 17, 2021. (Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

GOP Attacks on Voting Already Impacting 2022 Primaries

All possible resources must be marshaled in the cause of fair, safe, and secure elections.

Fred Wertheimer

 by Democracy 21

The attacks on our democracy are moving into the 2022 primary elections.
New state voter suppression laws that restrict access to absentee ballots, eliminate ballot drop boxes, drop registered voters from the rolls, and reduce polling places, among other provisions, are about to directly impact voters in this year's primaries.
Leading the way in these new Jim Crow voter suppression laws is Texas, which has reportedly rejected an unprecedented number of absentee ballots, and Georgia.
Enacted last year by GOP-controlled state legislatures, these laws would not apply to federal elections if Senate Republicans—joined by Democratic Senators Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ)—hadn't used the filibuster last month to preserve and protect these anti-democracy laws.
At the same time, unprecedented amounts of money are being poured into the usually quiet Secretary of State races this year. That's because these offices oversee the administration of elections in their states and the winners of these jobs will oversee the 2024 presidential and congressional elections.
According to the Brennan Center, contri­bu­tions are three times higher for these offices in key battleground states than they were at this point in the 2018 election cycle and eight times higher than 2014.
According to the Brennan Center's findings, contributions are partic­u­larly high in Arizona, Geor­gia, and Michigan, key 2024 battleground states that Biden won in 2020.
According to The New York Times, nearly two dozen Republicans who have publicly questioned or disputed the results of the 2020 presidential election are running for Secretary of State positions across the country.
In Arizona, for example, two of the four Republican candidates running in the Secretary of State primary tried to overturn the 2020 election results. The candidate viewed as currently leading in the primary attended the Stop the Steal rally in Washington on January 6, 2021 and is affiliated with the far-right militia group the Oath Keepers, The New York Times reported.
Tina Peters, a backer of the Big Lie that Trump's 2020 election was stolen, announced she is running for Secretary of State in Colorado. Peters, who made her announcement on the podcast of the notorious Trump follower Steve Bannon, is currently under investigation in Colorado for allegations of tampering with the election equipment used in the 2020 presidential election.
Meanwhile, election officials are warning that there is not enough money available for states to safely and securely administer the upcoming elections.
A tough battle lies ahead in 2022 to protect the integrity of our elections and to preserve the right of every eligible citizen to vote. All possible resources must be marshaled in the cause of fair, safe, and secure elections.

And, A Personal Note...
One of the nation's greatest constitutional scholars and Supreme Court lawyers, former Acting Solicitor General Walter Dellinger, passed away yesterday. (Read more about his remarkable career and contribution to our nation here and here.)
Walter, whom I knew for only a few years, was a friend and colleague. He was a passionate patriot and an unswerving defender of our democracy, our Constitution, and the rule of law. He was a remarkable man.
In 2020, Walter joined with two other former Solicitors General, Seth Waxman and Donald Verrilli, to lead the Biden campaign's successful defense against Trump's attempt to steal the 2020 election from duly elected President Biden.
Walter was an adviser to Presidents and a counselor, teacher, and mentor to anyone who came across his path and needed help and advice. Walter was an exemplary public official and the ultimate practitioner of Justice Brandeis' view that "the most important political office in the land is that of the private citizen."

Fred Wertheimer

Fred Wertheimer

Fred Wertheimer is the founder and president of Democracy 21, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that seeks to promote government accountability and integrity.

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