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January 18, 2022

Statement of ABA President Reginald Turner Re: Voting rights

WASHINGTON, Jan. 18, 2022 — The right to vote is the foundation of U.S. democracy. To support and strengthen this fundamental American value, the American Bar Association is committed to ensuring and protecting every eligible individual’s ability to exercise the right to vote freely and fairly. Our commitment includes vehement opposition to any barriers to fair and open elections and any subversion of the voting process. Unfounded attacks on our election systems, processes and officials only serve to undermine public trust in elections and our duly elected leaders.

Longstanding ABA policy calls on federal and state governments to take steps to ensure that all citizens who are eligible to vote have the ability to do so securely and in a manner that maximizes public participation. The ABA supports absentee voting availability for all registered voters with clear voting procedures. In states and localities with early voting, the ABA calls for an adequate number of polling places, adequate notice of polling hours and locations, and enough time for early voting.

In 1957, Dr. Martin Luther King said of the ability to vote that “the denial of this sacred right is a tragic betrayal of the highest mandates of our democratic tradition.” Now, 65 years later, lawyers and all Americans must do all they can to uphold and protect this critical right. This includes efforts to defend access to the ballot box and safeguard the process by which votes are counted and certified. The will of the people must be honored, and the rule of law preserved.

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews.