More than 100 academics have issued a dire warning that Republicans
are jeopardizing the country's democracy
by restricting voting
access and perpetuating the myth that the 2020 presidential election
is in jeopardy.
“We, the undersigned, are scholars of democracy who have watched the recent deterioration of U.S. elections
and liberal democracy with growing alarm,” the New America think tank said in a statement released Tuesday. “Specifically, we have watched with deep concern as Republican-led state legislatures across the country have proposed or implemented what we consider radical changes in recent months,” it added.
Over 100 academics with backgrounds in politics
, government, international affairs, public policy, and other fields signed the statement.
Following former President Donald Trump
's election loss and subsequent lies about the integrity of the voting process, Republican state legislators across the country have introduced legislation that would make it more difficult for people
to vote, citing concerns about election security
. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, at least 14 states
have enacted 22 such laws this year.
According to the scholars, GOP-controlled state legislatures' arguments to limit voting methods primarily useful to Democratic-leaning constituencies were reminiscent of those used throughout the Jim Crow South to limit the Black vote.
“In future elections, these laws politicizing election administration and certification may allow some state legislatures or partisan election officials to do what they failed to do in 2020: reverse the outcome of a free and fair election,” they warned.
The statement went on to say that every qualified citizen should have an equal right to vote, free of hindrances.
“And when they lose elections, political parties, candidates, and supporters must accept defeat and recognize the legitimacy of the outcome.”
They claimed that the refusal of prominent Republicans to do so, as well as the passage of anti-democratic legislation, violated these principles, and they chastised Republican leaders for failing to condemn Trump's anti-democratic crusade, which resulted in the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol
on January 6
The statement issued a call to action, urging national lawmakers to “do whatever is necessary — including suspending the filibuster
— in order to pass national voting and election administration standards that both guarantee the vote to all Americans equally, and prevent state legislatures from manipulating the rules in order to manufacture the result they want.”
“Our democracy is fundamentally at stake,” the statement concluded, adding that “history will judge what we do now.”