January 3, 2020 – Today, Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF), issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s call on Sunday to Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger.
“President Trump’s last-ditch attempt to pressure the Georgia Secretary of State to overturn the unequivocal results of the presidential election places our democracy squarely at a crossroads. After failing to win the Electoral College, and having lost scores of legal challenges, the President is now resorting to direct pressure in his attempt to remain in office and upend the will of the people. As his own administration has made clear, this was the most secure election in American history with no evidence of widespread voter fraud.
“The President’s focus on Georgia, and Fulton County, more specifically, again is consistent with his rhetoric since November 2 targeting the ballots cast by Black voters. His campaign’s post-election legal maneuverings have repeatedly targeted communities with large percentages of Black voters – Atlanta, Detroit, Milwaukee, and Philadelphia – and we are seeing much of the same rhetoric again in advance of this week’s critical U.S. Senate runoff election. This pattern of anti-democratic conduct is why LDF filed suit against the Trump Campaign and the Republican National Committee.
“As Congress moves to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election on January 6, Republican members of the House and Senate must address their own complicity in the false narrative being perpetuated by the President and his supporters that is causing great damage to our democracy and this country’s democratic institutions. Just today, the 117th Congress was sworn into office with a commitment to uphold our nation’s constitution. It is incumbent upon them to do just that this week, even as some of its members make baseless challenges to state electors. Congress must also use its oversight authority to investigate the President’s actions.
“The people have spoken in record numbers. Their votes were counted by election officials and ballots counters the overwhelmingly majority of whom behaved honorably despite unimaginable pressure and, in some cases, threats upon their lives. Those results were certified by state officials and the Electoral College. It is time for the relentless lies and attacks that are setting the stage for future voter suppression to end. LDF will continue its efforts to ensure that our democracy and the ability of Black voters to exercise the franchise is protected.”Founded in 1940, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the nation’s first civil and human rights law organization. LDF has been completely separate from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) since 1957—although LDF was originally founded by the NAACP and shares its commitment to equal rights. LDF’s Thurgood Marshall Institute is a multi-disciplinary and collaborative hub within LDF that launches targeted campaigns and undertakes innovative research to shape the civil rights narrative.