Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., issued the following statement regarding the myriad challenges experienced by voters across the United States on Election Day:
“This evening, as attention understandably focuses on the eventual outcome of the election, we must recognize that this election reinforces a critical truth: the American election system is broken. The noble and extraordinary commitment of Black voters to participate in democratic elections is consistently mocked by a regime of voter suppression that should shame this nation.
“Indeed, today we once again witnessed how this country’s election system disenfranchises and burdens its citizens, especially voters of color. Across the country, numerous voters waited in line for hours to cast their ballots, increasing their COVID-19 exposure risk as they endured this wait alongside their fellow Americans. Others had to navigate misleading signage, polling location changes, and vehicle parking problems as they sought to vote.
“In addition to these challenges, our Prepared to Vote and Voting Rights Defender Project teams reported multiple instances of voter misinformation and malfunctioning voting machines across the country. These incidents included a malfunction in multiple Louisiana parishes that changed or deleted a voter’s selection for the presidential race, and a spate of robocalls in Michigan targeting voters in Flint, a city with a predominantly Black population, that deceptively encouraged them to vote after Election Day in order to avoid long lines.
“These reports are deeply alarming. They follow closely on the heels of repeated voter suppression tactics related to mail-in and curbside voting, and reports of intimidation of those casting early voting ballots in several states. Voting in an election should not be difficult. While it is unacceptable that voters had to endure these challenges, we commend their fortitude in navigating them and ensuring that their voices were heard.”
Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative. In media attributions, please refer to us as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund or LDF. Follow LDF on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.