Statement of Principles on Voting Rights
Since its founding in 1906, the American Jewish Committee (AJC) has been committed to promoting democracy, pluralism, and civil and human rights. Many of these values, including the issue of enfranchisement, are as aspirational as they are foundational. The fundamental guiding principle is that the government needs to make it simple and easy to vote, and only enact restrictions vital to uphold the sanctity and security of our elections.
Work must be done to ensure:
Access and Enfranchisement | Everyone who is eligible to vote should be able to do so without unnecessarily burdensome impediments, fear, or intimidation. Reforms must be taken to ease the voting and registration process to help expand citizen access to the voting booth. Similarly, legislative initiatives whose purpose or effect is the disenfranchisement of voters should vigorously be opposed.
Election Integrity | The sanctity and security of our elections, however frequently validated by local, state, and federal election officials and the courts, must be rigorously defended; threats of fraud or suppression—real or perceived—must be addressed to maintain confidence in the system and in our democratic election process.
Updating Protections for Minorities | A legacy of restrictive voting practices, including voter suppression, continues to tinge elections, voting habits, and laws. Reforms must seek to uphold an open, fair, and reasonably accessible franchise.
Guarding against Foreign and Domestic Interference | Recent elections have been impacted by domestic and foreign actors with malevolent agendas attempting to sway public opinion, debase democracy, and cast doubt on the election process and results. States and the federal government must act to thwart such efforts, invest in voting infrastructure, and employ measures to protect against interference while also ensuring every vote is counted.
While we acknowledge that our electoral process and American trust in this system have grown increasingly contentious, we strongly believe that free and fair elections are critical to preserving our democracy now and for future generations. The goal of our elected officials must be to find and enact bipartisan solutions to guard the security of our electoral system while ensuring all eligible citizens have an equal opportunity to cast their ballot.
This statement is not an endorsement of any particular existing or proposed legislation related to voting rights. These enduring principles provide the benchmarks and guardrails for evaluation of policy initiatives.
- Policy Resources