Voting is the most fundamental and important activity of our democracy. It empowers citizens to make their voices heard, to hold elected officials accountable, and to set the policy agenda for their communities and states. Voting empowers marginalized communities and communities of color who have historically been left out of politics and government.
Attorneys general protect the rights of voters and the integrity of elections. They enforce state laws to protect voters from interference, discrimination, and intimidation. They advocate for policies and procedures to safeguard election integrity and security. During the COVID-19 pandemic, attorneys general have worked to make sure voters can safely participate in elections and helped expand access to voting options, such as mail-in voting. Attorneys general fight voter suppression efforts by bringing legal actions against groups and individuals that intimidate voters or spread disinformation.
Below are examples of attorney general actions taken to protect voters during the 2020 election:
- A coalition of attorneys general filed a lawsuit to stop the Trump Administration’s attempts to dismantle the United States Postal Service (USPS) and disrupt operations in an effort to undermine the November presidential election by slowing down mail service as more voters seek vote-by-mail options during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- New York Attorney General Letitia James offered a voter protection hotline and resources for the 2020 election and investigated deceptive robocalls trying to discourage voting by mail.
- New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas issued an advisory to all New Mexicans, reminding them of their right to participate in a free and fair election and providing critical information about the upcoming general election.
- Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced a to ensure election integrity in the weeks leading up to November 3, including an election protection task force, voter education campaign, and multisite action.
- District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine issued a voter advisory to protect residents from unauthorized poll monitoring and voter intimidation.
- Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost issued a warning against tampering with the election, voter intimidation, and misinformation from robocalls directed at minority communities.
- Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha developed a Know Your Rights voting guide to inform voters of their rights and let them know that help is available should they need it before or on Election Day.
- Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel filed charges against two political operatives for allegedly orchestrating a series of robocalls aimed at suppressing the vote in the November general election.
- A coalition of 17 attorneys general filed an amicus brief in Texas v. Hollis, in support of efforts in Harris County, Texas to protect voter rights and health during COVID-19 by sending vote-by-mail applications to every registered voter in the county.
- California Attorney General Xavier Becerra sent a cease and desist letter to a political party that installed unofficial ballot drop boxes, misrepresenting them as official ballot drop-off boxes, in violation of state law.