Finally the 2022 election season has come to a close with the re-election of Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA). JAC was proud to play a role in that victory. We wrote postcards, raised money, phoned and texted voters. We even travelled to Georgia to knock on doors in critical Fulton county.
Feeling the weight of history and the impact of their vote, Georgians fought election fatigue and voted. As JAC knocked on doors and talked to people around town, we were met with enthusiasm and excitement. People were proud to say they exercised their Constitutional right. Democracy was counting on those millions of voters and they did not let our country down.
While national voter turnout for the midterm was low, in Georgia new records were set for voting. More votes were cast than in any other of the state’s midterm elections. Early voting and absentee voting numbers surpassed previous elections, proving once again that these are critical tools that lead to greater voter participation.
Then just a day later, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Moore v. Harper. The outcome of this case could have dire consequences for our nation’s voting process. This past election, voters chose democracy when it was on the ballot. But a ruling by SCOTUS could undermine that will.
At the heart of this case is whether state legislatures have sole discretion when it comes to matters related to federal elections. If SCOTUS rules in favor of this case, then state courts and state constitutions would be powerless in matters relating to federal elections.
According to the Brennan Law Center, adopting this debunked 'independent state legislature theory' would leave voters across the country with no judicial remedy - in state or federal court - to fight partisan gerrymandering, voting suppression, and more. It could nullify hundreds of election rules already in place. State lawmakers would be able to adopt voter suppression legislation without any checks or balances from state courts or even from a gubernatorial veto.
We cannot fully celebrate Sen. Warnock’s win and our other victories until we have fully secured protections for our right to vote. It’s a challenging task, but one we all must commit to if we believe in democracy.