Statement from Jana Morgan, Director of the Declaration for American Democracy—a coalition of nearly 250 organizations from the labor, racial justice, voting rights, faith, environmental, women’s rights, good government, business and many other important communities—ahead of President Biden’s State of the Union address on March 1, 2022: 

Every year, the State of the Union is a pivotal moment for the president to clearly state their top policies and priorities, and set the tone for the coming year. In this year’s address, it’s imperative that President Biden loudly and clearly reaffirm his commitment to protecting our freedom to vote.

“With the midterm elections on the horizon, voters are demanding the Biden Administration act swiftly to mitigate the new challenges voters will face. In many states, extremist lawmakers and dark money groups have been hard at work attacking our freedom to vote—from using partisan gerrymandering to draw congressional districts that deny people fair representation, to planning to attempt future election sabotage. In 2021 alone, 34 laws in 19 different states were enacted that restrict access to the ballot box, especially for Black, Brown, Indigenous, and other voters of color, as well as young voters. In addition, secret political money continues to flood our elections.

“There are solutions to this alarming and unprecedented attack on our democracy that President Biden and his administration can act on immediately by leveraging the full power of the presidency and his executive authority. This starts with fulfilling the commitments announced following the White House’s global Summit for Democracy convening to strengthen democracy here at home. The president must also investigate further executive actions that protect our freedom to vote, prevent future election sabotage, limit the influence of dark money, restore trust in government, and fight corruption so that billionaires can’t buy elections.

“Every minute the president waits to act, partisan lawmakers and dark money groups will continue to restrict our freedom to vote. As we all tune in next week, we look forward to hearing President Biden reaffirm his commitment to using the full power of the presidency to protect our sacred right to vote and strengthen our democracy. President Biden, it’s time to move our country forward to live up to its democratic ideals.”