Talking Points: Legitimate Elections

Principles

  • Without democracy, there is no freedom.
  • For an election to be legitimate, it must reflect the will of the people.
  • Election laws should not suppress more legitimate votes than they prevent illegitimate votes.
  • The right to vote should be self-evident and inalienable.
  • Everyone who has the right to vote must be able to exercise that right by casting their vote.
  • Every vote must be counted, no matter how long it takes.

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Democracy

Without democracy, there is no freedom.

  • We’re free because we get to choose the people who make the laws we all agree to live by.
  • We agree to obey the law because we want to live in a functional society, but that doesn’t mean we give up our freedom. What makes us free is that we get to choose the people who make those laws.
  • Representation makes us free.
  • Voting is our first and most fundamental right. If you take away our vote, you take away our freedom.
  • There must be an extraordinarily high bar for the adoption of any procedure that makes it harder for people to vote.
  • Without democracy, there is no freedom. Without majority rule, there is no democracy.

The Will of the People

For an election to be legitimate, it must reflect the will of the people.

  • Authority comes from the consent of the governed.
  • The legitimacy of our government depends on our elections accurately reflecting the will of the people.
  • Elections belong to the people. Let the people decide.
  • It’s the will of the people, not just the will of your people.
  • It’s the will of the people, not the will of the people who have access to safe transportation / who aren’t at high risk for coronavirus / who live in small counties, etc.

Fraud and Suppression

Election laws should not suppress more legitimate votes than they prevent illegitimate votes.

  • Over-reaching attempts to fight voter fraud cause far more damage to our democracy than the fraud itself.
  • Fighting fraud in this way isn’t worth the cost in lost legitimate votes.
  • The cure is worse than the disease.
  • It’s like amputating a limb to cure a hangnail!
  • Would you put 300 innocent people in jail to prevent one guilty person from going free?
  • Legitimacy is about more than just fraud. We have to look at suppression and vote theft too.
  • Were eligible voters prevented from voting? Were legitimate votes not counted?
  • Suppressing votes to defy the will of the people is subversion of democracy.
  • If you’re willing to suppress 300 legitimate votes to prevent one case of fraud, you don’t really care about election integrity.
  • Fraud may be bad, but subversion of democracy is worse.
  • Voter suppression is worse than voter fraud. You are robbing people of their most fundamental freedom.

Voting Rights

Our right to vote shouldn’t have to be spelled out in the Constitution. This is a democracy. The right to vote should be self-evident and inalienable.

  • If you can’t legislate or judge in a way that respects the right to vote as fundamental, self-evident and inalienable, you have no business being in office or on the bench.
  • It’s not about partisanship. It’s not a he-said-she-said or “both sides want to win”. If you fight to make it easier to vote, you are pro-democracy. If you fight to make it harder to vote, you are anti-democracy.
  • We fight voter suppression and sometimes we lose in court. But – political norms have power. We can fight in the court of public opinion. Anti-democracy election officials and legislators deserve to lose their jobs.
  • Curbside voting is for the elderly, disabled, sick and vulnerable. The Supreme Court can give Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill the right to stop it, but we have the right to give him 17 kinds of political hell.
  • If you take away someone’s ability to vote, you violate their right to vote. What’s the point of having the right to vote if you can’t actually vote? Everyone who has the right to vote must be able to exercise that right by casting their vote and having it counted.

Count Every Vote

Every vote must be counted, no matter how long it takes.

  • Are they eligible to vote in this election? Then you have to count their vote.
  • Can you tell who they were trying to vote for? Then you have to count their vote.
  • Delay is an entirely acceptable price to pay for accuracy.
  • Living through months of uncertainty might be stressful, but living under a government whose legitimacy is in doubt could destroy the country.

The Bottom Line: The legitimacy of our government is at stake. We have to do whatever it takes for as long as it takes for the American public to agree that the results are valid.

2 thoughts on “Talking Points: Legitimate Elections

  1. Pingback: SideBar Code | Antonia Scatton

  2. Pingback: How to Fight the Fraud Frame and Re-legitimize our Elections | Antonia Scatton

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