Sunday, January 29, 2017
Via Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Keith Ellison issued the following statement after Donald Trump claimed he would investigate widespread voter fraud, which doesn’t exist, and anticipating the coming Republican efforts to suppress the vote:
"Donald Trump is lying to America about 3 to 5 million undocumented people voting because he wants to set the stage for more voter suppression. This is a declared campaign tactic from the Republican Party since the 1980 statement when conservative movement leader Paul Weyrich said ‘I don’t want everybody to vote.’ Expect Trump and his henchmen to push restrictive photo ID requirements, limit early voting and make it harder to even register to vote. These tactics deliberately impinge on Americans right to vote, and Trump and Republicans know it. That’s their expressed intent. As Americans, we have to call out the con early, and actively push back on attempts to demonize undocumented people and to constrict the rights of citizens. Truth oriented Americans know that widespread voter fraud is a myth, and that living up to our best principles means moving to expand the electorate by pushing for automatic voter registration, early voting and vote by mail.”
If elected as DNC Chair, Ellison proposes to expand the staff focused on voter protection at the DNC with the immediate creation of a new division with four departments:
- Voter Protection – a team of legal professionals to fight back against national, state or local attempts to block Americans from their constitutional right to cast a free and fair ballot. This division will also further the current work of the DNC and many state parties to create a national list of lawyers and legal aides ready to protect the vote. This team will look to create legal challenges to states and counties that are limiting voting rights in any way and states and counties using inadequate voting machines.
- Voter Enfranchisement – a team of legal and legislative professionals who will work with national, state and local leaders and parties to promote legislation and support legal actions that expand enfranchisement of voting including same-day registration, automatic registration, felon re-enfranchisement, early voting and vote by mail. This team will engage with local officials year-round to ensure voting systems and procedures are efficient and adequate.
- Redistricting – a team of legal, legislative and mapping professionals who will create infrastructure, tools and resources to monitor redistricting processes in states and ensure fair maps are drawn.
- Voting Rights Outreach – a team of political professionals who will work to convene meaningful coalitions with leading civil rights and activist organizations to challenge attempts at suppression at the local level. This team will also work to engage voters who face high barriers to voting early in the process to ensure they are prepared and able to vote.