4/29 We Spy Election Interference
This week, I was joined by Ambassador Norm Eisen, Executive Chair of the States United Democracy Center, and Jessica Marsden, Counsel at Protect Democracy, in an op-ed for CNN that put a spotlight on a dangerous trend: majorities in state legislatures taking power away from trusted state and local election officials.
Headlined, “The threat to US democracy goes beyond voter suppression,” the piece highlights a recently released report by States United, along with Protect Democracy and Law Forward, that analyzed how partisan actors in the states are trying to politicize, criminalize, and interfere with elections. This week alone, election interference provisions moved forward in Florida, North Carolina, and Texas.
Although these election interference schemes have largely flown under the radar, the challenges we face to free and fair elections are not lost on our nation’s leaders. Before a joint session of Congress, President Joe Biden called on lawmakers to protect voting. In the nationally televised address, he remarked that voting rights are “being attacked” and “if we truly want to restore the soul of America, we need to protect the sacred right to vote.” The President specifically called on Congress to “pass H.R. 1 and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act” and to send it to his desk “right away.” Last month, we released a report that outlined how H.R.1 would impact the states and provide clarity for federal election procedures.
I’ve included below a round up of some of the issues we are tracking here at States United as we prepare for more late-night state legislative sessions, next steps in the controversial so-called “audit” in Arizona (which we refer to as the “fraudit”), and the upcoming Senate mark-up of the For the People Act.
Here is this week’s update:
|Bloomberg: “Corporate Activism on Voting Rights Echoes Role in LGBTQ Battles.” By Joshua Green. (April 29, 2021)
“With voter restrictions spreading to Florida, Arizona, and other states, the pressure on corporations to respond shows no signs of letting up. Veterans of past social justice fights say the current one reminds them of another political battle that gripped corporate America five years ago and could play out the same way: the push for LGBTQ equality.”
CBS News: “Biden calls Capitol riot ‘a test of whether our democracy could survive.’” By Victoria Albert. (April 29, 2021)
Washington Post: “Four months later, there’s been little political accountability for the Capitol riot.” By Philip Bump. (April 28, 2021)
New York Times: “Half a Year After Trump’s Defeat, Arizona Republicans Are Recounting the Vote.” By Michael Wines. (April 25, 2021)
MSNBC: “‘A dangerous, dumb thing’: Clumsy Arizona GOP audit stunt risks harming faith in elections.” (April 27, 2021)
USA Today: “Fact check: No evidence election audit in Maricopa County has found widespread election fraud.” By Devon Link. (April 28, 2021)
CNN: “Florida House passes controversial voting bill that would add new restrictions.” By Dianne Gallagher, Wesley Bruer, Jade Gordon, and Kelly Mena. (April 29, 2021)
Atlanta Journal Constitution: “Sen. Tim Scott defends Georgia voting law in GOP response to Biden.” By Patricia Murphy and Greg Bluestein. (April 29, 2021)
The Detroit News: “Secretary of State Benson: GOP bill would criminalize officials’ election Twitter posts.” By Craig Mauger. (April 28, 2021)
Axios: “Voting groups fear Texas about to exceed Georgia’s limits.” By Stef W. Kight. (April 29, 2021)