MAPLEWOOD, NJ — The Township Committee released the following statement in reaction to bills introduced around the United States that would increase the difficulty of registering to vote, and casting votes themselves:
The Maplewood Township Committee strongly opposes efforts by states to disenfranchise voters by erecting barriers to full electoral participation, particularly by voters of color.
For much of our nation’s history, only white, free men could vote. It took years of struggle and the loss of many lives, for women, Blacks, Asians and Native Americans to gain what is now considered a fundamental cornerstone of our democracy — the right to vote.
It wasn’t too long ago that the expansion of voting rights enjoyed bipartisan support. But now democracy is under attack by governors and legislatures across the country. More than 250 bills have been introduced in 43 states, including New Jersey, to limit the right to vote.
In March, the Georgia legislature passed a sweeping election bill that will make it harder for Black voters to vote. An Arizona state representative raised the question of who should be voting when he said “quantity is important but we have to look at the quality of votes as well.” Under the guise of addressing election integrity, these laws are really being used to suppress future voting and disenfranchise legal voters.
The Township Committee joins civil rights organizations, community activists, business leaders, sports stars and elected officials in calling out these undemocratic initiatives. We must continue to work at expanding voting opportunities like the recently enacted laws to do that in New Jersey and Virginia.
We call on the United States Congress to confront voter suppression by the states by passing national legislation that protects the right to vote by everyone, no matter in what state or zip code they live.
Maplewood (NJ) Township Committee
Mayor Frank McGehee
Deputy Mayor Dean Dafis
Committeeman Victor De Luca
Committeewoman Nancy Adams
Committeeman Greg Lembrich