“We are witnessing a concerted attempt to destabilize the democratic process and delegitimize our multi-racial democracy, carried out in full view of the American people. As Democrats, it’s not enough to push back one law, one court case or even one election at a time. We need to fundamentally change the way we think about and fight back against this blatant, sweeping effort,” Clinton wrote in the op-ed, which published on Democracy Docket, the progressive platform founded by former Clinton campaign counsel Marc Elias.
Republicans — who control both chambers of 30 state legislatures — have enacted 28 state laws since the 2020 election that restrict ballot access, according to a tally as of June 21 by the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law. The laws in 17 states mark a new record for restrictive voting laws since 2011, when the Brennan Center recorded 19 laws enacted in 14 state legislatures.
More than half of these new laws make it harder to vote absentee and by mail, after a record number of Americans voted by mail in November.
Clinton addressed the blitz of new voting restrictions, referencing efforts to remove names from voter registration rolls, limitations on drop boxes, early and absentee voting and restrictions on giving voters food and water in polling lines.
“Each of these proposals disproportionately prevents people of color from casting their ballots, and each is egregious in its own right,” Clinton wrote, adding the recent crackdown on voting access is the product of years of GOP-backed efforts such as gerrymandering and court packing paired with disinformation.
Clinton also chastised the Supreme Court, which last week ruled that two provisions of an Arizona voting law that restrict how ballots can be cast do not violate the historic Voting Rights Act that bars regulations that result in racial discrimination.
The 2016 Democratic presidential nominee invoked former President Donald Trump, his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election and his baseless claims of election fraud, and said that the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6 “showed that these fanatical ideas can lead to real, even deadly harm.”
“The emboldening of white supremacists and conspiracy theorists during Trump’s campaign and time in the White House along with the international movement against liberal democracy have exacerbated this perfect storm,” Clinton wrote.
Clinton said that while she supports efforts in Congress to pass voting rights legislation, it will take more from American citizens to protect the right to vote.
“We need to call these attacks on voting what they are: part of a clear attempt to move away from a pluralistic, multi-racial democracy and toward white supremacist authoritarianism,” she wrote.
“When the people make their voices heard in an election, we should respect the results. These aren’t partisan statements; they’re attributes of a functioning democracy. Now is the time for anyone who cares about ours to stand up and fight for it using absolutely every tool in our toolbox,” she said.