Immigrant & Refugee Rights Advocates Celebrate Historically High Turnout at the Polls, Demand Every Vote Be Counted
WASHINGTON – As the nation awaits the final results of the 2020 General Elections, the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) and its members urging patience from the public as the democratic process plays out, and demanding that every vote is counted so that all of our voices are heard in this watershed election.
“Free and fair elections are the backbone of our democracy. With the futures of immigrants and refugees at stake, now more than ever we must rally to uphold the rule of law and democratic norms,” said Eva Millona, CEO of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee (MIRA) Coalition, and co-chair of the NPNA Board of Directors. “Every single vote – including all mail-in ballots – must be counted and MIRA along with NPNA, urges the public’s patience as we allow election officials to do their jobs. This is too important not to get right.”
Simultaneously, immigrant and refugee rights advocates are celebrating the historic turnout of Latino, immigrant, and New American voters in key battleground states like Arizona, the birthplace of some of the nation’s most extremist anti-immigrant laws. This victory was years in the making, and a testament to power of community organizing and deep power-building efforts at the state level. Approximately 86,131 individuals have naturalized in Arizona since 2014, likely making a significant impact at the polls.
“We are celebrating our nation’s values of shared democracy which include the right to vote and the right for every vote to be counted. Promize Arizona recognizes the hard work of networks and organizations that have contributed to this historic win in Arizona. And we stand by patiently as results are counted for other parts of the country” said Petra Falcon, executive director of Promise Arizona (PAZ).
“For a democracy that works for all of us, every eligible voter must have their voice heard and vote counted. It is no surprise that given different state laws on when election officials can start counting ballots, the extraordinary circumstances presented by the pandemic, and the systemic attempts by the current administration to disenfranchise voters, it will take some time to ensure that every vote is counted and the process is respected,” said Nicole Melaku, NPNA executive director. “We must remain patient as we allow for the process of democracy to unfold. At the same time, we should celebrate and uplift the turnout of New American voters at the polls as a community, and find strength in the many victories we have secured thus far.”