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Republican attempts to impose voting restriction bills across the United States pose an existential threat to democracy in the country.
In a new statement released by New America think tank on Tuesday, over 100 scholars on democracy coincide that recent actions taken by Republicans to change election regulations across many states amount to “radical changes to core electoral procedures.” These attempts have taken place in response to former President Donald Trump’s persistent and baseless claims that the November presidential election was stolen and that Joe Biden won the election illegitimately.
"We, the undersigned, are scholars of democracy who have watched the recent deterioration of U.S. elections and liberal democracy with growing alarm," said the statement signed by the professors, deans, and other scholars who come from a range of universities and institutions across the country, including Harvard, Princeton, Cornell, Duke, and Stanford.
They noted: "Specifically, we have watched with deep concern as Republican-led state legislatures across the country have in recent months proposed or implemented what we consider radical changes to core electoral procedures in response to unproven and intentionally destructive allegations of a stolen election."
The statement comes after a committee of representatives and senators in Texas finished drafting a bill last Saturday that limits early hours to cast ballots, bans drive-through polling sites, and places new requirements on voters, among other things.
Since last year's contested elections, many Republican-led states have passed bills that make voting increasingly tricky. According to a tracker from Brennan Center for Justice, at least 14 states enacted 22 new laws that restrict access to the vote between January 1 and mid-May.
U.S. President Joe Biden has criticized a Texas bill adding new voting restrictions, calling it an "assault on democracy" and "wrong and un-American."
Biden calls Texas voting restriction bill "an assault on democracy" https://t.co/QChd78tiMy Texas Republicans are set to pass the most restrictive new voting laws in the US, targeting voters of color, banning drive-through and 24-hour voting, and weakening absentee voting.
The GOP-led initiatives, the scholars said, "are transforming several states into political systems that no longer meet the minimum conditions for free and fair elections."
"History will judge what we do at this moment." "These actions call into question whether the United States will remain a democracy," they said, referring to GOP'sGOP's recent efforts as " a betrayal of our precious democratic heritage."
Over the past few years, and particularly since the U.S. Capitol riot in January, top scholars have repeatedly warned that the GOP has become a fundamentally anti-democratic party determined to win elections by any means.
The party's efforts to whitewash the events of January 6 and shield Trump from blame for the riot have increased alarm in this regard. Trump was impeached under the charge of incitement of an insurrection, but Republican leaders have continued to kowtow to the former president.