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Friday, November 2, 2012

AFJ and allies pledge to counter threats to free and fair elections

AFJ is joining with more than 50 other organizations to express our concern about two critical threats to our democratic system: corporate influence in elections and laws and official actions that suppress the vote.  Under the banner “Money Out, Voters In,” we’re issuing this joint statement pledging to fight special interest money in politics and to support the rights of all voters:

Within the next week, citizens in every state will come together to cast their votes for President, Congress, and other state and local offices. The right to cast those votes – to elect leaders who represent us – is at the heart of our democratic system. But this year, that right is in danger.

Our system of fair and free elections is under attack on multiple fronts. The Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United opened the floodgates for special interest money and corporate influence in politics. At the same time, a rash of voter suppression laws in more than 30 states has threatened to make voting difficult, if not impossible, for millions of Americans.

Throughout the history of our nation, powerful politicians and interest groups have tried to block eligible voters from casting a ballot. For much of the twentieth century, they used literacy tests or demanded poll taxes. Today they ask for photo voter ID, or create restrictive voter registration schemes. These laws, combined with the challenge posed by limitless corporate influence, strike at the very core of our democracy.

Our nation’s history has been a journey towards true equality and the promise of a government of, by and for the people. Just as we have overcome many obstacles to achieve that promise, we are now committed to standing up against the pervasive, corrupting influence of an electoral system that auctions offices to the highest bidder and suppresses the vote of millions of Americans.

No matter what happens on November 6th, these threats must be addressed on November 7th and beyond. Together with our allies across the political spectrum, we pledge to fight for the rights of all voters in our nation and to move that much closer to creating a more perfect union. The future of our democracy depends on it.

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