As we near the end of this general election, the will of the people must be respected. In record numbers and in the face of a global pandemic, Americans voted early and on Election Day, and availed themselves of mail-in voting. But the right to vote includes the right to have your vote counted.
As is the case in every election, the process to count votes takes time and extends beyond Election Day. That is particularly true because of overseas military ballots and the right that some voters have to cure trivial errors with their ballots. Election officials and ballot counters across the nation are to be commended for their ongoing efforts to ensure that every vote is counted and that the fundamental elements of our democracy are protected.
Over the last week, however, these ballot counters have been assailed by death threats and intimidation. Their reputations have been sullied and, in some cases, their personal information posted online. This follows a pattern of voter intimidation and suppression that has marked this entire electoral season—from refusals to expand mail voting and suspend onerous witness and notary requirements during the pandemic to caravanning in and around polling sites, sometimes with weapons of war. Such attacks have no place in our nation and must be repudiated by elected officials in the strongest of terms.
As members of the VRWG, we have full confidence in the outcome of this election, the ballot counting processes established by state laws, and the commitment of our election officials to count every vote. They are true patriots, and we stand with them as they work to ensure every vote is properly counted.
The Voting Rights Working Group is a loose consortium of 12 of the nation’s most prominent and experienced non-profit organizations pursuing voting rights litigation on behalf of racial minorities. Our member organizations are non-partisan legal advocacy groups with decades of experience in using the law to promote and protect the voting rights of people of color. Our member organizations are:
• American Civil Liberties Union
• Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
• Asian Americans Advancing Justice – AAJC
• Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles
• Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law
• LatinoJustice PRLDEF
• Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
• MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund)
• NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund
• Native American Rights Fund
• Southern Coalition for Social Justice
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.