I’m in! I’m the new Director of Voter Protection and we’ve got a big job on our hands. Over the past several years we have seen laws passed across the country that have made it more difficult for women, the elderly, college students, ethnic minorities and low-income individuals to register and to vote. This is a disturbing trend that runs counter to our tradition as a nation. The right to vote is a fundamental right — our ability to hire and fire politicians influences what is spent on public education, whether health care covers a pre-existing condition or whether a woman can control her own choices – and it is a right that our forbearers have fought and died for.
We believe that every American, regardless of party, should be able to make their voice heard. Our democracy is undermined by laws that allow any rightful voter, let alone hundreds of thousands of rightful voters, to be denied their franchise. We’ve never solved anything with less democracy.
I’m fired up because I know when I read about ID laws in Texas that are so strict that many married women will not be able to vote or purges in Virginia that will remove thousands of voters days before an election or North Carolina playing hide and seek with polling locations, we’re able to do something about it. I’m excited to join the Democratic National Committee and Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz as we build the best voter protection program in our party’s history.
The fight to protect and expand the right to vote is not new. From Abraham Lincoln to Susan B. Anthony to Martin Luther King and John Lewis, the right to vote has been earned the same way – by people organizing their communities to apply political and legal pressure for change. We will adopt these lessons for our program and I hope you will join us in our effort. If you want to join the fight to beat back Republican attempts to limit the right to vote, and support leaders across the country who are working to expand and modernize access to the ballot, sign up here: www.votingrightsmatter.com
In an email, Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz shared the Democrats' four-point strategy for winning elections in 2013, 2014 and beyond and encouraged supporters to get involved.
I just got back from the DNC summer meeting in Arizona, so I thought I'd let you in on our strategy for the upcoming year and beyond (because I'm really excited about it).
We have a four-pronged plan for the coming year:
Recruiting and training top talent. Our party is only as strong as the people in it. So we're going to focus on identifying great candidates for state and local offices, training organizers across the country, and helping talented young people from all backgrounds break into politics through our Hope Institute program.
Maintaining and building our digital edge. A big part of the reason we won last year is because our online program and tools were light years ahead of the Republicans. But that's the thing about cutting-edge technology -- it stops being cutting-edge pretty quickly. We're not going to rest on our laurels. We're going to work hard to maintain our edge while developing the next generation of tools.
Expanding access to the ballot box. Every single thing we do as a party centers on our most fundamental right as Americans -- the right to vote. You've seen Republicans across the country restrict that right by taking advantage of the recent Supreme Court decision to gut the Voting Rights Act. And we're going to be fighting back by launching a national voter protection program.
Holding Republicans accountable and promoting the Democratic agenda. You've heard Republicans talk a lot about how they're "rebranding" their party and agenda to be more inclusive after last year's election. But if you've been paying attention to the policies they're supporting, you've noticed that they've only gotten more extreme. We're going to make sure they don't get away with that bait-and-switch.
Many people are going to work very hard to make sure this plan succeeds, but I have to be straight with you: a main factor in its success or failure will be whether we have the resources to pull it off.
Chip in $10 or more today and make sure we can put our plan into motion:
This is a winning plan -- and I can't wait to get to work on it with you, because we saw last year what we're capable of.
Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Democratic National Committee
P.S. -- You've seen what we can do when we get this organization operating at its peak -- let's do it again.
Voter suppression isn't just happening in North Carolina. It's happening in Republican-led states all across the country.
Governor Scott is back at it. In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down key provisions of the Voting Rights Act, Governor Scott announced he is taking another shot at purging Florida’s voter rolls of ‘noncitizens.’
Just to be clear, we’re talking about Republican purging efforts botched so badly that Governor Scott himself had to vote by provisional ballot in 2006 because the purge had determined he was dead.
You’d think that would have been a wake-up call that this sort of purging is deeply flawed and unnecessary.
Governor Scott and his Republican Administration claim this is simply an effort to suppress voter fraud, but Floridians know better. This shameful attempt to shrink the electorate was highly controversial in the months leading up to the 2012 presidential election, when the Department of Justice sued the state of Florida for attempting to disqualify thousands of voters less than 90 days before an election.
The ability to cast a vote and have one’s vote counted is central to the functioning of our democracy. But too often, Republicans have systematically turned how ballots are cast into a manufactured issue in swing states across the country. Too often, these Republican-led so-called anti-voter fraud efforts are nothing more than thinly veiled attempts to disqualify voters that reek of politics.
Such is the case in Florida. Of the 180,000 potential noncitizens identified for purging in 2012, less than 0.02% were actually ineligible. Nearly 60 percent of those included in the initial list were Hispanic – meanwhile, Hispanic voters make up only 13 percent of Florida’s electorate.
Unfortunately for Governor Scott and national Republicans, Florida’s voters won’t be fooled again. Attempts like what is now happening in Florida, and what is happening in many states across the country, go against the spirit of our democracy and are exactly why Congress must answer President Obama’s call to restore the Voting Rights Act to its full authority.