Opinion: If voters don’t stop it, Holocaust deniers could kill American democracy


We strive to ensure that every eligible citizen is registered, has the information they need to vote, that their vote is properly counted and can rightly be trusted in a complex electoral process made more onerous by the pursuit of the Covid-19 pandemic.

We partner with thousands of elected and appointed local election officials to fulfill this mission. It is the responsibility of every Secretary of State and State Election Officer across the country.
With that in mind, we ask this question: Who do you want to hold elections in your state? An election denier who refuses to recognize the will of voters in 2020 and who was present during the tragic US Capitol uprising on January 6, 2021? A candidate who aims to rewrite 2020 election history, falsely repeating debunked claims that voting machines in Georgia reversed votes cast for former President Donald Trump by President Joe Biden? Or do you prefer a public servant and dedicated democracy advocate committed to defending and strengthening America’s most fundamental right?
This choice – a choice between truth and lies, autocracy and democracy – will be on the ballot in our states and dozens more in November. There are already nearly two dozen candidates vying to be Chief Electoral Officer in their state who question the legitimacy of President Biden’s 2020 victory and support efforts to both restrict access to ballot and to institute changes that would allow officials to invalidate or overturn the results at will.
One called for disbanding the bipartisan Wisconsin Elections Commission, which fairly administers elections in Badger State; another proposed a bill in the Arizona state legislature that would allow that partisan body to simply overrule a secretary of state’s decision to officially certify the results of an election.
Three contestants have appeared at events with prominent members of the QAnon movement, and one proudly reaffirms the group’s outlandish conspiracy theories, which don’t bear restating here.
By questioning President Biden’s certified victory, these candidates have shown us who they are: individuals willing, if they have the power, to override the voice and will of voters if they don’t like the results. elections they oversee. And by supporting extreme, undemocratic changes to election laws that will make it harder for citizens to get to the polls, they demonstrate an un-American commitment to partisan goals rather than truth and democracy.
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But we want to be clear: this will only happen if the American voter allows it.

Because this fall, voters in California, Michigan and across the country will have a clear opportunity to reject candidates who run on a party platform across the country. They can hold accountable those who seek to use their platforms and authority to erode trust in our electoral system and deny those who want to subvert the will of voters the ability to do so.

In 2022, voters can take action to ensure that anyone with an explicit mission to overthrow democracy does not succeed in becoming their state’s Chief Electoral Officer.

Indeed, the American voter is the only one who can save our democracy from those who seek to serve as election officials, secretaries of state and attorneys general who would be willing and empowered to nullify elections at will.

We say this not to be alarmist, but rather to be pragmatic about what lies ahead in this pivotal election year.

When we are sworn in as Secretaries of State, and when we walk into our offices each day, we do so not as Democrats or Republicans, but as Americans. We perform our sworn constitutional duties and fulfill our roles in the invaluable democratic process.

It’s time for those of us – Democrats, Republicans and Independents – who care about our democratic institutions to take seriously the threat we face.

There are 26 races for state secretaries across the country this year — and in some states, elections for county clerks and other local election officials as well. In many states from coast to coast, the big lie is on the ballot.

Rejecting disinformation, repression and election tampering will take us all. We urge you to get involved by supporting candidates who are committed to protecting our democratic institutions – by donating your time or money if you can and, above all, by making your voice heard at the ballot box in the primary elections. and general in your state.

Our democracy simply cannot afford for any of us to be absent from this fight.


cnn

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