An “insidious and coordinated” effort between lawmakers and extremist groups is underway to undermine American democracy, according to a new report.
On Tuesday, the non-partisan civil rights organization National Urban League released the annual report report in his series of analyzes The State of Black America. The report, titled Under Siege: The Plot to Destroy Democracy, describes the “plot and urgency of national mobilization to protect and defend our most sacred constitutional right”.
He focuses on four main tactics he says are being used in this effort: gerrymandering, voter suppression, misinformation and intimidation.
In 2021 alone, 20 states used census data to redraw congressional maps, he noted. The new maps proposed by Republican lawmakers in the state “are nothing more than modern-day gerrymandering that disenfranchises communities with black and brown voters,” the report said.
It also listed 34 laws passed in 19 states between Jan. 1 and Dec. 7, 2021 that make it harder for people to vote.
In addition to shortening the window to apply and deliver mail-in ballots, these laws limit mail-in ballot lists, restrict assistance in returning a voter’s mail-in ballot, reduce the availability of mail-in ballot and increase barriers for voters with disabilities, among other restrictions.
“The burden of these laws — strict photo ID requirements, eliminating or restricting Sunday voting, mail-in and early voting, and closing polls — falls overwhelmingly on black voters,” said said Marc Morial, President and CEO of NUL, mentioned in the report.
“Since the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965, the United States has seen a steady increase in disenfranchisement practices giving one party an advantage over the other. But never before has the nation seen such an insidious and coordinated campaign to erase the very principle of “one person, one vote” from the political process.
According to the report, state legislatures in 18 states have postponed at least 152 restrictive bills from the 2021 legislative season. legislative, at least 96 bills in 12 states would make it harder for voters to vote.
The report also outlines the steps that were taken to sabotage the election, including the discrediting of the vote and the outright goal of establishing one-party rule, as demonstrated by the Stop the Steal movement.
It also notes an increase in intimidation of election officials since 2020, with one in six local election officials saying they have personally experienced threats and a quarter fearing attack because of their role.
Additionally, the report found that election workers are quitting and retiring at an alarming rate, with one in five saying it is “very” or “fairly” unlikely they will continue serving until 2024.
He cites a survey conducted by the strategic research and consulting firm Benenson Strategy Group in which an overwhelming majority of Black Americans have said they strongly believe in the power of their vote to make a difference in social and racial justice, police brutality and economic opportunity.
However, almost as many agree that elected officials do not do enough to protect their voting rights and “actually do more to limit voting rights than to protect them”.