State election officials are under attack. We must defend them

Across the country, passing restrictive election laws has been one of the top priorities for Republican state legislators this year. In a coordinated effort, Republicans, including legislators in North Carolina, are working from similar playbooks to restrict old policies, create voting barriers for Black and Brown communities — with some states pushing for measures that threaten to punish elections officials and workers for just doing their jobs.

  • In states like Georgia and Texas, Republicans are pushing measures that limits who can vote by mail, targets “Souls to the Polls” efforts — voter participation drives popular in Black churches — by limiting early voting, strips away powers from election officials and empowers poll watchers — despite the long history of poll watchers being used to intimidate voters and harass election workers, often in ways that target communities of color.
  • In North Carolina, Republicans have pushed forth their own Jim Crow-era voter suppression laws that seeks to make the process of voting more difficult and blatantly disenfranchises Black voters.

Despite the success, GOP lawmakers across the country and in North Carolina have proposed 389 voting restriction laws in order to undermine our democracy, attack election workers, and suppress our right to vote, particularly for Black and Brown communities.

Bottom Line

Instead of honoring election officials, workers and volunteers who remained dedicated to protecting our sacred right to vote and conducting a secure election for all eligible voters during a pandemic, the GOP is threatening election workers, blatantly targeting our constitutional right and attempting to restrict Black and Brown communities from participating in democracy.

Now, more than ever, pro-voter legislation and protections for our election workers is vital for  ensuring that all eligible voters are guaranteed access to the ballot box and election workers are able to fulfill their duty in keeping one of our most sacred tools within democracy running without any fear of intimidation or harassment.

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Alanna Joyner

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