Following Tuesday’s first presidential debate, a number of governors across the US have expressed concern regarding potential interruptions to the democratic process ahead of the voting closure date in early November.
Seattle Governor Jay Inslee was among 11 governors that co-wrote a statement condemning the potential threat against proper democracy in this year’s election. The letter makes mention of ballot fraud and the perpetuation of harassment or intimidation of voters across America.
“We do not take for granted the sacred right of every American to cast a vote, and to have that vote counted, in the presidential election held every four years,” reads the statement. “It is a right that is foundational to our democracy and essential to the continuation of our constitutional system of government — something to be cherished, revered, and defended by elected leaders at all levels.”
“Any efforts to throw out ballots or refuse a peaceful transfer of power are nothing less than an assault on American democracy. There is absolutely no excuse for promoting the intimidation or harassment of voters. These are all blatant attempts to deny our constituents the right to have their voices heard, as guaranteed in the US Constitution, and to know the will of the people will be carried out.”
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Governor Inslee was joined on the letter by Governor Brown of Oregon, Governor Newsom of California, Governor Murphy of New Jersey, Governor Whitmer of Michigan, Governor Evers of Wisconsin, Governor Walz of Minnesota, Governor Northam of Virginia, Governor Carney of Delaware, Governor Sisolak of Nevada, and Governor Grisham of New Mexico.
“As governors, it is our solemn duty to protect the people of our states. Today, we affirm that all votes cast in the upcoming election will be counted and that democracy will be delivered in this election. That means all valid ballots cast in accordance with state and local laws must be counted, and that all states must properly appoint electors in accordance with the vote.”
“We will not allow anyone to willfully corrupt the democratic process by delegitimizing the outcome or appointing fraudulent electors against the will of the voters.”
When asked if he will concede his position as a result of a loss following the 2020 US presidential election, sitting President Trump has made mention of voting and ballot fraud. He reiterated this during Tuesday night’s debate.
“We recognize that democratically held elections are not an exercise in controlling power,” continues the governors’ letter. “By its very nature, democracy is an exercise in determining and honoring out the collective will of the American people, regardless of the outcome.”
“Disenfranchising voters in order to retain power strikes at the very heart of this promise. We call on elected leaders at all levels, from both parties, to speak out loudly against such efforts in the weeks ahead.”