A statement signed by more than 100 scholars on Tuesday warns that as a result of Republican-led states proposing or implementing “radical changes” to election laws, the voting procedures in several states are being transformed into “political systems that no longer meet the minimum conditions for free and fair elections.” The statement includes this dire prediction: “our entire democracy is now at risk”
Appearing on the website of the Washington, D.C.-based think tank New America, the statement, entitled Statement of Concern: The Threats to American Democracy and the Need for National Voting and Election Administration Standards, can be read in its entirety here.
Referring to themselves as “scholars of democracy,” the signatories include leading professors of political science, government, communications and history at many of the nation’s most prominent universities and colleges. As of mid-afternoon today, more than 100 individuals had signed onto the statement, but additional signatures were expected to be added….
After condemning “these actions in the strongest possible terms as a betrayal of our precious democratic heritage, the statement calls for “federal action to protect equal access of all citizens to the ballot and to guarantee free and fair elections.” And it argues that a voting rights law like the proposed John Lewis Voting Rights Act “is essential but alone is not enough.”
Therefore, the statement concludes, what is needed is “a comprehensive set of national standards that ensure the sanctity and independence of election administration, guarantee that all voters can freely exercise their right to vote, prevent partisan gerrymandering from giving dominant parties in the states an unfair advantage in the process of drawing congressional districts, and regulate ethics and money in politics.”