ABA President Turner defends voting rights


 

With the prospects of any new voting rights legislation passing the U.S. Senate looking dim, American Bar Association President Reginald Turner recently issued a statement reaffirming the association’s commitment to “protecting every eligible individual’s ability to exercise the right to vote freely and fairly.”

Turner’s statement called on lawyers to help protect the right to vote, defend access to the ballot box, and safeguard the counting process.

The statement also strongly opposed “any barriers to fair and open elections,” “any subversion of the voting process,” and any “unfounded attacks on our election systems, processes and officials.”

ABA policy calls on federal and state governments to take steps to ensure that all citizens who are eligible to vote can do so securely and in a manner that maximizes public participation. The ABA supports absentee voting availability for all registered voters with clear voting procedures. In states and localities with early voting, the ABA calls for an adequate number of polling places, adequate notice of polling hours and locations, and enough time for early voting.

The ABA statement called on lawyers and all Americans do everything they can to protect the right to vote, defend access to the ballot box, and safeguard the process by which votes are counted and certified.

The federal legislation now in Congress was introduced by Democrats as a response to a slew of state laws enacted since the 2020 election to address questions raised about election integrity and security. Opponents of these laws claim that the laws will result in voter suppression and election subversion. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, 19 states have enacted 33 laws that will make it harder for Americans to vote.

The ABA previously stated that the 2020 election was fairly conducted. Dozens of lawsuits challenging the results were carefully considered by courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court. No evidence of significant fraud or impropriety was found. States and independent groups conducted audits and recounts and investigated claims of irregularities. Nothing was discovered.

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