Here’s what you need to know about the year ahead and why it’s so important we protect these lines of defense ahead of our next election:
HOLD THE HOUSE
Let’s not forget who the House Republicans are that would be returning to power if they win a majority: On January 6, 2021, roughly two-thirds of the Republican caucus objected to the certification of the Electoral College. If Republicans take the majority in 2022, Democrats lose one more line of defense and an attempt to steal the next election could be successful.
SAVE THE SENATE
Right now, the Senate is a place where many pieces of good legislation have entered and few have come out. Adding one or two more Democratic Senators—especially one or two who are willing to end the filibuster—vastly expands Joe Biden’s possibilities for legislating, making it possible to finally achieve things like the Freedom to Vote Act, which would protect our elections from voter suppression, gerrymandering, and insurrectionist sabotage.
THE FRONTLINES OF THE FIGHT
Governors play a role in critical matters of ballot access, and the very first thing a new Republican governor could do in places like Wisconsin, Michigan, Nevada, and Pennsylvania would be to make it harder to vote in places where President Biden had some of his narrowest margins of victory in 2020. Pro-democracy governors like Tony Evers in Wisconsin and Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan, and Secretaries of State in places like Arizona and Georgia, could make all the difference in 2024.
Many of the most extreme lawmakers get their start in local offices that have a tendency to fly under the radar. The right-wing movement to take over school boards over mask mandates and alleged controversy over “critical race theory” are one example. The GOP has also figured out how to exploit levers of power at every level to undermine election integrity.
IT’S UP TO US
The outcome of this year’s elections at every level — from state house to Senate — will determine whether any progressive priorities, not to mention American democracy itself, has a fighting chance going into 2024 and beyond. Pundits have their ideas about what’s “supposed” to happen, but the truth is, nothing is a foregone conclusion because the outcome depends on the decisions that we make and the actions we take between now and November 8th 2022. It won’t be easy, but building the future we want never is. So let’s get to work.