September 13, 2017
MANCHESTER – The ACLU of New Hampshire and the New Hampshire Campaign for Voting Rights - a broad range of progressive organizations and leaders fighting to advance voting rights - call for President Donald Trump's 'sham' Election Integrity Commission to be dismantled following a day-long hearing focused on creating barriers to exercising American's right to democracy - voting.
The Commission's meeting heard testimony from "election experts" and academics urging for the implementation of a background check system similar to the one used for handgun ownership, falsely comparing physical safety and the ability to exercise one's right to democracy. A background check system is just another ploy to create barriers to voting for the citizens of the United States. "The jig is up. The Commission meeting showed us clearly that it is not - and has never been - focused on expanding access to the ballot and ensuring every American has a right to vote," said America Votes New Hampshire Political Director Michael O'Brien. "This is an orchestrated attempt to block access to the ballot and we demand New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner step down from the Election Integrity Commission. If Gardner continues on the Commission after today, then he is agreeing that he does not support every eligible voter in New Hampshire and across
the nation."
Ahead of the hearing meeting, more than 200 local grassroots New Hampshire activists and advocates showed up to say, "Hey hey, ho ho, Trump's Sham Commission has got to go."
"The Election Commission meeting was designed to undermine America's confidence in our elections and justify voter suppression," said Executive Director of the ACLU of New Hampshire Devon Chaffee. "The Commission is co-led by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who the ACLU has successfully sued numerous times over his voter suppression policies. Through American history, propaganda about illegal voting has been used to push unnecessary restrictions, like background checks, on the right to vote. But attempts to shrink the voting power of everyday people is the true threat to our elections. We should be doing everything we can to encourage, rather than hinder, participation in our democracy."
"It saddens me that in today's age, we - as an entire community - are still facing many of the challenges of 1965," said President of the Greater Manchester NAACP Rev. Eric Jackson. "We continue to be deeply saddened that our Secretary of State, who is suppose to represent the interest of all Granite Staters, continues to create barriers to vote through his participation in Trump's Election Integrity Commission."
"President Trump's Commission is not about election integrity - it's about disenfranchising voters so that he can win this next election," said President of Let America Vote Jason Kander. "Trump's Commission is undermining faith in our democracy by spreading misinformation and injecting partisan politics into election administration. The Commission shouldn't exist, plain and simple. We should be doing everything possible to make elections free, fair and accessible because when more people vote, our democracy is stronger. Let America Votes is glad to join our New Hampshire partners in protecting elections from bad policies of the Trump Administration."