June 22, 2020
The Election Reformers Network (ERN) stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement and disadvantaged populations in the United States and around the world. Banishing racism concerns all of us because the conditions that allow for its systemic exercise are deeply rooted in the political, social, and economic fabrics of all nations. To overcome the generations of marginalization and discrimination requires recognizing racism where it exists and a commitment to addressing the injustices that pervade our society.
This issue is of utmost importance to ERN. Having worked to promote democracy around the globe, we understand the challenges faced by minorities and marginalized groups in asserting their rights and overcoming systemic efforts to prevent their active participation in governance. Hence, we reaffirm the importance of ensuring that all citizens – regardless of race, gender, religious confession, sexual orientation, or socio-economic status – have the right to vote and to have their vote count in a meaningful manner. In the United States, the 15th Amendment and the Voting Acts Right of 1965 have enshrined this as a legal right for African-Americans, but more needs to be done to ensure that the right is respected in practice.
ERN members have witnessed the struggles of disadvantaged groups here in the U.S. and around the world. We have seen how the achievement and consolidation of democracy can enshrine the rights of African-Americans, of black South Africans, of lower caste Indians, and of indigenous peoples in Peru, to cite just a few examples. We recognize that this is a battle not yet won. Thus, we are committed to expanding the right and the ability of all people, especially disadvantaged populations, to choose those who govern them, which is critical to ensuring justice.
ERN is committed to helping the United States improve its democratic institutions, and we do so recognizing that election structures in this country still reflect the impact of a century of intentional violation of the 15th Amendment. As a country, we have an historic opportunity to draw on today’s democracy reform movement and the Black Lives Matter movement to build institutions commensurate with our inspiring national creed.