In response to a proliferation of voting reform legislation under consideration in multiple states, ASAE today issued a statement on values and principles that should guide lawmakers.

A newly enacted voting law in Georgia has been challenged in a federal lawsuit filed this week by the ACLU and civil rights groups, but more than 250 voting reform laws have been introduced in 45 states. Many of these legislative proposals make it much harder for all eligible voters to exercise their civic duty, particularly voters of color. ASAE’s statement notes the association community’s role as stakeholders in the American political system. The full statement reads:

“As the largest organization representing trade and professional associations in the world, ASAE seeks to uphold and promote a set of values and principles vital to the functioning of America’s representative democracy. American associations are formed for a wide variety of purposes, but all are stakeholders in the U.S. political system. Associations both directly engage policymakers to address issues impacting business and society and help preserve the foundations of America’s democratic process. While there is broad disagreement on how well America’s political system is functioning, there is greater consensus on ideals of America’s democracy that must be preserved, including respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms and the holding of free and fair elections, among others.

Based on the 2020 election cycle, which prompted claims of voter fraud and/or misconduct in some states, a number of states have introduced legislation this year that would have wide-ranging implications for future elections. As these bills are considered, ASAE strongly believes that lawmakers have a responsibility to preserve access to the ballot box alongside election integrity. Legislative reforms that disproportionately disenfranchise communities of color are damaging to the ideals we uphold. Holding free and fair elections means removing unnecessary barriers for eligible, law-abiding voters wishing to exercise their civic duty and ensuring that elected representatives derive their authority from the will of the electorate.”