“We witnessed an attempt to diminish, destroy and uproot our democracy with unfounded theories of conspiracies,” said Attorney General Letitia James at the rally at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn. “We stand here today, unwilling, unflinching, refusing to stand idly by and do absolutely nothing.”
The show of unity among local politicians also shed a light on the battle over voting rights, highlighting how other states have made it increasingly difficult to vote.
In 2021, a total of 19 states passed over 30 laws aimed to restrict the right to vote.
“Here in New York, while we've expanded early voting, in Georgia and Iowa and Texas, they've restricted the early voting period and shortened the amount of time for you to vote,” said State Senator Zellnor Myrie. “Here in New York, we used dropboxes to vote for the first time at the height of the pandemic. But in Indiana, they're ripping them from the ground.”
Public advocate and gubernatorial candidate Jumaane Williams urged elected officials around the country to “put all the chips on the table” for voting rights.
“I want to stand with our state electors to make sure that we pass laws to not only protect, but to expand the right to vote,” said Williams, while acknowledging recent ballot measures that failed to pass in New York State during the most recent election. “Let’s commemorate this day by recommitting to upholding our democracy.”
Councilwoman Crystal Hudson called for an overhaul of the Board of Elections.
“We must overhaul the Board of Elections, making it nonpartisan and removing the requirements that mandates the appointment of one staffer from each party, especially if the duplicate position is unnecessary,” she said.