In a desperate display of what I can describe only as disregard for voters and contempt for suffrage and the right to vote itself, the Arizona Democratic Party is pursuing a baseless lawsuit to remove the No Labels line from the state’s 2024 presidential ballot. Even though millions of Americans clearly want the option to vote for a potential unity presidential ticket in 2024, the Arizona Democratic Party wants to take away that option.
Why would they take such a cynical step? The answer can be found in its legal filing itself, in which the Arizona Democratic Party complains No Labels being on the ballot could “make it more difficult to elect Democratic Party candidates,” and “require [the party] to expend and divert additional funds and staff time on voter education to accomplish its mission in Arizona.”
In other words, the Arizona Democratic Party seems to think the law should free it from having to compete with No Labels and actually persuade voters that they can do a better job. I spent my whole life in the Democratic Party – and remain a proud Democrat today – but this conduct by the Arizona State Democratic Party is unacceptable and is undemocratic.
When supporters of Jim Crow years ago tried to disenfranchise Black Americans in the South, my mentor and hero, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., called it for what it was: voter suppression. It is the same here and now. Voter suppression is democracy suppression.
As No Labels pointed out in our court papers, the Arizona Democratic Party suit is without merit. It does not challenge the number of signatures we collected or the legitimacy of those signatures. They simply don’t want any competition for ballot access.
No Labels will continue to fight for what we, and the tens of thousands of Arizonans who signed our petitions, are entitled to by law. It is why this week, lawyers for No Labels filed a reply with the Maricopa County Superior Court to sustain our constitutional right to remain on the Arizona ballot.
I hope everyone in the No Labels community will stay right here with us as we fight for the most fundamental right in our democracy, which is the right to vote and to choose the leaders who represent us.
Let the voters be heard, and let the voters decide.
Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr. is the National Co-Chair of No Labels.