It’s deeply disappointing that our democratic republic is under assault and the federal government has yet to do anything to protect it. It is encouraging that, after the failure of the Freedom to Vote and John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement acts, our Maine delegation, including Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King, are working on improvements to federal laws, including the Electoral Count Act, in hopes of providing some minimum guardrails to protect our form of government. But reforming the Electoral Count Act alone is not enough.

Without these minimum national guardrails, individual state legislatures are chipping away at our national representative democracy. Following the most secure presidential election in the country’s history, 19 states have passed 34 laws making access to the ballot more difficult and more intimidating, including removal of secure drop boxes, limits on mail-in voting, voter-roll purges and creation of “election police.”

Both houses of Congress and both political parties have a responsibility to the American people, to the Constitution and to their oath of office to codify a national floor for voter access, to establish processes for nonpartisan redistricting and to ensure that post-election fraud and subversion is thwarted and prosecuted to guarantee a republican form of government to every state in the Union and at the national level.

All of Maine’s federal delegation must lead, and win, the fight now to preserve and protect this democratic republic by taking action before it is too late. Improvements to the Electoral Count Act are but a first step.

Melissa Murphy

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