tags: Press Releases

“A Dangerous Assault on American Democracy” – Calling Out the Game and Implications of Right-Wing Disinformation About Non-Citizen Voting

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Washington, DC — Following today’s House vote on the SAVE Act – part of the right-wing disinformation campaign about the integrity of our elections – Vanessa Cárdenas, Executive Director of America’s Voice, issued the following statement:

“The lies about non-citizen voting and the related mainstreaming of ‘replacement’ conspiracies are a dangerous assault on American democracy, instigates the possibility of more political violence and attacks against immigrants. Our voter security system is working, and our elections are free and fair. The chance of a non-citizen even registering to vote, let alone actually vote, is close to zero. Legislation like the SAVE Act isn’t designed to solve any real problems, but rather seeks to inflame fears against immigrants and would keep millions of eligible voters from participating in our elections.”

Yesterday, representatives from America’s Voice, the Brennan Center for Justice, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, UnidosUS, and Declaration for American Democracy held a press briefing to discuss the far-right disinformation campaign around non-citizen voting ahead of the SAVE Act vote. The speakers discussed the facts – that the prevalence of noncitizens voting is exceedingly rare, it’s already prohibited by federal law and the laws in every state and carries stiff penalties. They also discussed how this bill is part of a broader disinformation campaign to undermine American elections, prevent eligible citizens from voting, and promote xenophobia to divide and deceive voters. The experts also highlighted the robust legislation on the table to expand the freedom to vote, which should be taken up by the Congress immediately. Among the speaker quotes included:

“This legislation is part of a pattern of shameful political pandering to xenophobia and racism aimed at undermining faith in our elections. The reality is that states have multiple systems in place to deter noncitizen voting. It is already a crime several times over. This is not only a solution in search of a problem. It’s also a very damaging lie with an ulterior motive: to lay the groundwork for challenging legitimate election results down the road,” said Sean Morales-Doyle, Director of Voting Rights, Brennan Center for Justice.

“For our democracy to work, it must include all of our voices. The SAVE Act represents a dangerous attempt to intimidate voters of color, impose onerous burdens on their political participation, and sow doubt about the legitimacy of our electoral process. Instead of promoting fear and division, Congress must focus on passing laws that protect and expand the right to vote like the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, the Freedom to Vote Act, the Native American Voting Rights Act and DC statehood,” said Leslie Proll, Senior Director for Voting Rights, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

“This non-citizen nonsense is a broad and orchestrated attack on the legitimacy of Latino voters and other communities who are constantly villainized and weaponized. We’re seeing heightened threats against elections officials and voters at the polls, especially in places where Latinos are a growing and significant part of the eligible voting population. Harmful and false rhetoric of non-citizen voters also spreads disinformation that targets and undermines Latino voters. This bill is a dangerous political ploy being used to suppress the vote in communities of color and further undermine voting rights in this country. An estimated 36.2 million Latinos are eligible to vote this year; stopping this nonsense and protecting the rights of Latino voters is not just important for our community, it’s crucial for our democracy.” said Juan Espinoza, Senior Civil Rights Advisor, UnidosUS.

“Once again, extremist politicians are lying about our elections to justify and pass a radical political agenda to restrict voting for millions of eligible Americans. We must reject these false claims and instead focus on the real issues facing our democracy, from extreme partisan and racial gerrymandering and the effort to pass restrictive anti-voter laws, to the rampant spreading of disinformation. We must pass the Freedom to Vote Act, John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act, the Native American VRAA, and DC Statehood to protect our sacred freedom to vote and to ensure that voters, regardless of color, income, or zip code, have a voice in our democracy.” said Christine Wood, Co-Director, Declaration for American Democracy.

“This bill does not just affect noncitizens but threatens to erode confidence in American democracy under the guise of safeguarding it. American democracy is too fragile for us to be naive and take the Speaker and his allies at face value. They are pushing this replacement theory lie that villainizes immigrants to advance an illiberal agenda,” said Zachary Mueller, Senior Research Director, America’s Voice.