Sunday, October 2, 2022

July 4th: An opportunity to examine the state of American democracy

July 4th celebrates the founding of the United States of America’s democracy – and some say it is time to re-commit to protecting that democracy.

In the wake of the “big lie” that the 2020 election was stolen, and the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, people like Nancy Leifer—president of the League of Women Voters of the Montana Board of Directors—are concerned about the state’s representative. government.

He said in Montana, there is also talk that elections cannot be trusted.

“There’s absolutely nothing going on here that warrants that,” Leifer said. “It’s just the narrative that these people have come across that don’t want to admit that the ideas they have are not supported by the majority of Americans.”

Voter fraud is very rare in the United States. In January, two women, citizens of the Philippines, voted in the Montana election and were later arrested.

Prior to this, the Heritage Foundation’s database of electoral fraud dates back to 1979, showing only one conviction in Montana for fraudulent use of absentee ballots.

However, Leifer said the Montana Legislature has passed several laws that restrict access to voting based on a false narrative of widespread electoral fraud.

This includes getting rid of same-day voter registration, which she said is especially important for Native American voters who may only be able to make one visit to the polls.

“Other ID legislation specifically targets students,” Leifer said, “who are now unable to come up with correct ID information because their student ID from the institution they are studying is not sufficient.”

Those two cases will go to the state Supreme Court before the November elections.

Despite the limitations of voter access, Leifer said he has a deep faith in Montanans. He is convinced that the Montanas can like each other without agreeing on politics.

“It is undermined by the extreme partisanship that has gone away recently,” Leifer said. “And so, I invite everyone to step back from our biases and remember that we are here, and we are all friends and neighbors, and together we will move forward.”

Support for this reporting was provided by Carnegie Corporation of New York.

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