FEC and CVP Statement on the Violent Attack on the U.S. Capitol and Our Democracy
Updated: Jan 11, 2021
We are saddened by yesterday’s attacks on the U.S. Capitol, which can only be characterized as a violent effort to undermine the legitimate votes of millions of Americans and the election of the next president. It is also deeply shameful to see a number of elected members from the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives encourage the mob with false claims of voter fraud in an anti-American and unconstitutional effort to challenge the certified Electoral College vote. The illegitimate actions we witnessed yesterday were provoked by fantastical calls from the president urging his supporters to reject the outcome of the election based on disproven claims of voter fraud. After the historic turnout in November and one day after the hope instilled by the massive turnout in Georgia’s election, we witnessed one of the darkest days of our democracy. Such a scale of violence hasn’t been seen at the Capitol since the British invasion during the War of 1812. It is also alarming to see the stark difference in treatment by law enforcement of this primarily white, armed mob that forcefully entered a federal building and the violent tactics used to disburse peaceful racial justice protesters last year in the nation’s capital. This disparity in treatment further underscores the deep rooted systemic injustices faced by people of color. Fair Elections Center and its Campus Vote Project remain steadfastly committed to our work in the courts, legislatures, and classrooms across the country to promote and preserve the voting rights of American citizens. Those Americans turned out in record numbers despite traditional voting obstacles to exercise their rights and cast their ballots in November and again in Georgia this Tuesday. It was especially rewarding to see historic Black turnout in Georgia, a state with a history of voter suppression and voter intimidation. Election officials, organizations like ours, and individuals across the country worked together during a global pandemic to ensure these elections were fair and secure. Nationwide efforts included the recruitment of hundreds of thousands of poll workers, many of them young and serving for the first time. These patriots successfully facilitated the highest turnout for a presidential election in our history, one whose integrity cannot be debated. The armed mob that descended on the Capitol yesterday sought to use violence to overturn the democratic outcome of the votes of more than 150 millions of Americans. With such little regard for our democracy and no respect for the law, the members of this mob are anything but patriots, they are criminals. They should be regarded as nothing more.
If you are an educator looking for materials to utilize in discussing yesterday's events with your students check out these resources from PBS.