The creation of an Election Fraud Commission and unfounded suggestions by President Trump that there were millions of illegal votes in November is a dangerous attack on our democracy and voting systems. State and local elections officials around the country, the election professionals responsible for ensuring the integrity of our elections, certified the results of the November election affirming their validity.
The biggest challenge facing our democracy right now is not voter fraud, but rather that too few Americans are able and willing to exercise their right to vote as yesterday’s report by the U.S. Census Bureau confirmed. We must have election procedures that strike a balance between making voting more accessible to every citizen while also ensuring the necessary checks are in place to maintain the confidence of the American people in the soundness of the results.
Through our 1-888-VE-Y-VOTA hotline, a toll-free and non-partisan information resource for the Latino electorate, we know firsthand that eligible Latino voters continue to experience significant barriers to the polls that prevent or impede their participation. Efforts to protect the right to vote for only those who are eligible are laudable, but they should not be undertaken at the expense of the political participation of Latino U.S. citizens and other Americans who have been traditionally disenfranchised by ineffective voting policies.
We must have election procedures that strike a balance between making voting more accessible to every citizen while also ensuring the necessary checks are in place to maintain the confidence of the American people in the soundness of the results.
As a nation, we should concentrate our limited resources and efforts on both bolstering the integrity of our democracy and making the electoral system more accessible to its citizens, not less. Our organization will continue to push for sensible safeguards and the eradication of barriers to voting, working with elected officials from both sides of the aisle to implement new policies and technologies that would expand access to the ballot box for Latinos and all Americans.
Arturo Vargas is the Executive Director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund.