|Guns and voting don’t mix. Bringing weapons to a polling place doesn’t promote election security. It intimidates lawful voters and risks bloodshed.|
|Last weekend, however, armed vigilantes in tactical gear were spotted lurking around a ballot drop box in Maricopa County, Arizona. It’s impossible to view this incident as anything other than blatant voter suppression. |
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A dire threat to American democracy
Dan Rather and Elliot Krishna
The essential premise of a democratic system of government is that ultimately those who govern are beholden to the will of the governed. Democracies do not automatically produce more noble or enlightened leaders than other forms of government. We are, after all, electing human beings, who are prone to the frailties, biases, and failings of our species. What democracy is supposed to offer is a corrective.
When leaders fail to serve the needs of the populace, there is a mechanism for replacing them. It’s called elections. This is why the attacks on voting rights by the Republican Party, the embrace of the Big Lie, and the intimidation of voters by armed vigilantes in places like Arizona ultimately put our entire system of governance at great risk. If the results of free and fair elections are denied, the will of the voters can be nullified. If citizens are prevented from voting — whether by fear or targeted administrative hurdles meant to disenfranchise — we will quickly arrive at a place where the remedial forces of elections will be replaced by stifling autocracy.