Washington, D.C — Today, Protect Democracy, the States United Democracy Center, and Law Forward released an update to their April report titled Democracy Crisis in the Making, which analyzed the nationwide trend of partisan state legislatures trying to seize control over election administration away from trusted, expert elections officials.
The June update spotlights two of the most alarming trends on the forefront right now in Arizona and Texas: criminalization of election administration and legislature-driven partisan reviews of settled elections.
Regarding Texas, the update examines the unprecedented ways S.B. 7, an omnibus voter suppression bill, seeks to criminalize election administration. In Arizona, the update takes a look at the sham election review taking place in Maricopa County.
The States United Democracy Center and Protect Democracy also hosted a briefing with bipartisan state leaders including Washington Secretary of State Kim Wyman, former New Jersey Governor and States United Co-Chair Christine Todd Whitman, and States United Democracy Center Outside Counsel and Senior Advisor Victoria Bassetti. The discussion focused on the current election interference landscape, particularly the increase in criminalization legislation.
The speakers’ concerns are echoed in the report’s conclusion, which states:
“Many of the bills we have chronicled will force public officials who are attempting to administer elections to constantly look over their shoulder, comply with byzantine rules, seek permission for standard operating practices, work without being able to accept special funding in a crisis, and live in fear that a mistake will land them in a middle of a criminal investigation. They will know that even after they have professionally counted and certified the votes, their decisions may be subject to relentless and baseless attack. This is no way to run a democracy.”
For a copy of the April report and the update, click here.