We Will Not Be Dissuaded From Voting

The Threats of Violence and Disorder Proves That Our Vote Counts

October 29, 2020

This November, American Muslims are at a pivot point. The last four years of divisive nationalism have left our country in need of a spiritual revival, and that starts at the polls. 

At the same time, bad faith actors are trying to sow disunity and play upon existing social divisions in order to suppress voter turnout. A spread of disinformation campaigns intend to suppress voter turnout by casting doubt over the legitimacy of our electoral process. 

The concerns themselves are not baseless. According to a report detailed in Politico, the number of Americans who believe that violence could be justified to advance their parties’ political goals has substantially increased over the last three years. This belief is itself downstream from broader social conditions, like an increased number of groups engaging in winner-take-all competition to promote their own interests (“elite factionalization”), societal polarization, rise in hate speech and rhetoric, and weakening institutions. The President has only fanned the flames of division by leaning into desperate attempts to blame a potential re-election defeat on voter fraud. Even if the result is certified, uncertainty over whether President Trump would accept defeat places into question a key element of our democracy — peaceful transition of power.

The dramatics surrounding this election season give the impression that our elections are disordered, their integrity at risk. This is unfounded, and we are not going to be dissuaded. The very same voter suppression tactics being used this election cycle have long been used to discourage the vote from minority communities. Fortunately, our laws are capable of addressing issues of current concern, such as voter intimidation and fraudulent voting, and provide processes for legal resolution of election disputes. Extensive research reveals that election fraud is very rare and voter impersonation largely nonexistent. Our current laws provide what is needed for a successful election in 2020. 

The only way to address the problems which we all recognize is to engage in the political process itself. A lack of political participation will only serve those who seek to divide us - or serve those who don't want American Muslims to vote. So we encourage you to vote. Of course, if you see anything that raises suspicion, you must verify it. You can refer to the Elections Assistance Commission website for any issues involving irregularities in voting or the election process. If you're voting by mail or dropping off your ballot, check if your state has an official online tracker to verify your ballot is secure. Talk to your organizations — talk to us — about any information you find incredible.

Oftentimes, disinformation tactics are intended to dissuade people from voting; the tacticians know just how powerful a politically engaged citizenry can be. Let’s use our power this November and put our best foot forward for what comes next: the harder work of engaging government officials to achieve our community’s shared interests.



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