April 7, 2021

Progressive Legislators Respond to Coordinated Attack on Voting Rights in State Legislatures

Backlash is building following the signing of Georgia’s sweeping anti-voter legislation.

Arizona, Michigan, and North Carolina are now on the frontline in the fight to protect democracy as they confront politically motivated attacks on the right of eligible Black, brown, low-income, and young voters.

Voting rights are under attack in state legislatures across the country. Record turnout in 2020 has renewed an insidious coordinated effort to make voting more difficult for Black, Brown, young, and other eligible voters. 

The nonpartisan Brennan Center for Justice released a new report showing that 361 bills to restrict voting have been introduced in 47 states — an increase of 43 percent since last month. 

State legislators from Arizona, Michigan, and North Carlina joined their colleague from Georgia to outline some of the specific legislation and impacts in their states and call for action to stop these attacks.

“We are now seeing a direct attack on our voting rights in Georgia and all across the country; there are so many things that Republicans are doing to stop Black and Brown folks from voting,” said Georgia Rep. Erica Thomas. “I believe that it is not about getting rid of fraudulent votes. It's about getting rid of Democratic votes.

“In the midst of a global pandemic, Michigan voters still made their voices heard in record numbers, and it’s because of them that we have the opportunity to defeat this virus and enact real relief for families,” said Michigan Rep. Darrin Camilleri. “Instead of focusing on these important issues or expanding voting access, this coordinated national effort seeks to extend the attacks on our democracy we saw four months ago at our nation’s Capitol into the policy work of our state legislatures. While state lawmakers may be on the frontlines of this current threat, we must stand with our federal counterparts and ultimately the voters to defend our rights and remove barriers to participation.”

“Arizona saw the highest voter turnout ever in 2020, and they're working very hard to make sure that that turnout never happens again. So I add my voice to the numerous voices expressing the urgency that Congress and the US Senate act. Pass HR 1, the For the People Act, and pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, so that in states like Arizona, my freedom to vote, and the freedom of my constituents to vote, is protected for future generations,” said Arizona Rep. Athena Salman. 

“Keep an eye on what’s happening in the state legislature. Make sure to let your representatives know what you want to see and that you take your constitutionally protected fundamental right to vote seriously,” said North Carolina Rep. Allison Dahle. “Without our vote, we don't have a voice and we need to make sure we always have a voice in our government...I feel strongly that people should choose their representatives and not vice versa.”

Email katy@stateinnovation.org to be connected with any of the legislators or for a recording of the press call. 

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