OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
Democrats concerned about the 2022 elections have more reason to worry now after 18 Republican legislatures passed election integrity laws, promising even more to come in the coming weeks and months, with primary Democrat movers and shakers expressing fear over the party’s prospects.
Nse Ufot, the CEO of the Stacey Abrams-founded New Georgia Project, put it succinctly in an interview with Politico.
“If there isn’t a way for us to repeat what happened in November 2020, we’re fu**ed,” Ufot said.
Another prominent Democrat mover, Latosha Brown, co-founder of Black Lives Matter, told the publication that “hope is quickly turning into frustration,” adding in frustration: “When in the hell are those who claim that they are committed to democracy going to show up to protect those that protect democracy?”
The two Democrats express frustration over a reality that is only now beginning to sink in for the party. Their remarks follow House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s comments in early July when she, along with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and other Democrats, condemned the Supreme Court’s decision to allow Arizona to pass an election integrity bill.
Pelosi described the ruling as an “unprecedented assault” that “greenlights the brutal, accelerating campaign of voter suppression,” according to the Associated Press.
Some 18 states, led by Republican-controlled legislatures, have passed 30 election integrity laws, with additional legislation still in the pipeline.
The states were moved by the results of the 2020 US presidential election, which saw contentious disputes between former President Trump’s campaign and local officials over the results of the election.
While Trump’s more serious claims remain to be proven in court, Republican legislators have moved to pass election integrity bills to bring confidence back to Republican voters who have voiced concerns over the sanctity of the voting process.
Along with the multitude of states that have successfully passed new election integrity measures, such as voting ID. and early voting requirements, more than 400 bills with election integrity provisions have “been introduced in 49 states in the 2021 legislative sessions.”
Other states with pending legislative sessions, such as California, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Maine, still have election integrity measures waiting to be passed.
The Republicans’ successful approach has caused President Joe Biden and his congressional allies to push legislation to federalize state and local elections, putting more power in Washington via wresting control from local communities where accountability is greatest.
But Senate Republicans defeated Biden’s so-called “For the People Act” by a filibuster in June. The defeat has thrown the battle over election integrity back to the states, where “the restrictions advanced by Republicans affect so many facets of voting that Democrats cannot agree on which provisions are the most problematic.”
As a result of efforts to push election integrity laws, some Democrat lawmakers, like those in Texas, have absconded from their duties to flee to Washington D.C. in an attempt to break quorum and prevent special legislative sessions from being called over these votes.
As reported by Conservative Brief, these Democrats are now calling on supporters to send them care packages included toiletries and hard candy, to prolong their stay in the nation’s capital.
Should the legislation in Texas pass, it would place additional restrictions on voting by mail, creating new voter ID requirements, and expanding freedoms for poll watchers to observe the process.
“As soon as they come back in the state of Texas, they will be arrested, they will be cabined inside the Texas Capitol until they get their job done,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said in response to the stunt.
“Texas Democrats were out of moves, and the only thing they could do to deny quorum was to take their families and leave the state in the middle of the night,” Ufot told Politico.
“That’s the kind of response and leadership that this moment requires, and I am waiting for the administration to match the energy of state and local Democrats across the country who are fighting these fights,” Ufot added.