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Video: House Democratic Leader Don Scott, Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Mamie Locke Discuss Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s Latest Attack on Voting Rights

Last week, the Youngkin administration caved to right-wing conspiracy theorists and announced it was pulling out of the Electronic Registration Information Center ("ERIC")

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See below for video, as House Democratic Leader Don Scott and Senate Democratic Caucus Chair Mamie Locke hold a press conference to discuss Virginia Republicans’ latest attack on voting rights (“Virginia on Thursday became the latest Republican-led state to withdraw from a multistate partnership that until early 2022 was considered a widely trusted, bipartisan effort to share voter information”)

  • Sen. Lamont Bagby says Youngkin doesn’t care what the law says, says Youngkin is a bully.
  • Del. Marcus Simon says that Youngkin caved to “wild conspiracy theory stuff” and the “big lie,” and that his elections chief Susan Beals was just at the Heritage Foundation for a bizarre “election integrity” program. Del. Simon says if you REALLY care about preventing “voter fraud,” you should be back in “ERIC,” and that ultimately, this is nothing more than a “voter suppression tactic.”
  • House Dems Leader Don Scott says Youngkin’s incompetent, says he has no plan to replace “ERIC,” says Youngkin and other “MAGA extremists” want to “undermine our democracy.” Leader Scott notes that AG Jason Miyares has an “election integrity” unit yet hasn’t said a word about “ERIC,” that this is all “MAGA Republican” lunacy.  According to Del. Scott, it’s with “great sadness…to see us going backwards, to see folks like Governor Youngkin working diligently to take that right away in the same manner that segregation has denied millions of Black Americans the right to exercise that right.”
  • Sen. Mamie Locke says what Gov. Youngkin’s doing is trying to match or exceed other “red” states on their voter suppression efforts. She says Youngkin’s attitude seems to be, “anything you can do I can do better.” Sen. Locke says this is all about the “Big Lie,” has nothing to do with how “ERIC” works or any facts about it.

UPDATE 2 pm – See below for a press release from the VA House and Senate Dems:

DEMOCRATIC LEADERS CONDEMN VIRGINIA REPUBLICANS’ LATEST ATTACK ON VOTING RIGHTS

RICHMOND, VA – On May 11, Glenn Youngkin’s top elections official, Susan Beals, wrote a letter announcing Virginia would withdraw from the Electronic Registration Information Center, or ERIC, a bipartisan multistate partnership to keep voter rolls updated and encourage states to register new voters.

ERIC had support from both Republican and Democratic governors of Virginia, but the group has recently become the subject of far-right conspiracy theories, which Youngkin and Beals, a former top aide to Amanda Chase, have repeatedly bought into.

Today, Delegates Don Scott, Rodney Willett, Mike Mullin, Marcus Simon, Betsy Carr,  and Senators Mamie Locke, Ghazala Hashmi, and Lamont Bagby held a press conference to condemn the Youngkin administration’s latest attack on voting rights and democracy:

“Every Virginian — no matter their race or zip code — has a fundamental right to vote, and leaders in Richmond have a responsibility to make sure voting is as easy, safe, and accessible as possible to all Virginians…But now Republican leaders – including Glenn Youngkin – are buying into Trump’s lies and conspiracy theories and pulling out of this interstate agreement, weakening our election systems and Democracy,” said Senate Chair Mamie Locke.

“The Virginia GOP has gone to the other side – the MAGA extremists have taken over, and they want to make it harder for us to vote,” said Leader Don Scott. “From quietly changing the restoration of rights progress to this surprising departure from ERIC, everything they do is trying to disrupt our election process. These destructive changes harm voters and undermine faith in our system.”

“There is no basis in fact for any of the attacks on ERIC…it comes from the original ‘big lie,’ which is that the 2020 election was stolen…It’s clear that here in Virginia our Republican leaders are buying into Trump’s lies, they are buying the big lie, they’re running with it, and they’re making policy based on it,” said Delegate Marcus Simon.

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